Amid public outrage over his controversial comments Sunday, Ray Moore is out as CEO and Tournament Director of the Indian Wells Masters.
During an innocent breakfast meeting with journalists Sunday before the women’s final, Moore said the WTA should “get on their knees” and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were born because the women’s tour was riding the “coattails” of those two superstars.
He also made a remark that the future of WTA is in good hands because of “attractive” stars like Garbine Muguruza and Eugenie Bouchard are on the rise.
Several top women in tennis including Serena Williams, 2016 champion Victoria Azarenka, Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King all took strong offense to the comments. And as the growing support for Moore’s resignation swelled, the tournament and owner Larry Ellison released this statement Monday night:
“Earlier today I had the opportunity to speak with Raymond Moore,” said BNP Paribas Open Owner, Larry Ellison. “Ray let me know that he has decided to step down from his roles as CEO and Tournament Director effective immediately. I fully understand his decision.
“Nearly half a century ago, Billie Jean King began her historic campaign for the equal treatment of women in tennis. What followed is an ongoing, multi-generational, progressive movement to treat women and men in sports equally. Thanks to the leadership of Billie Jean, Martina Navratilova, Venus Williams, Serena Williams and so many other great women athletes, an important measure of success has already been achieved. I’m proud to say that it is now a decade long tradition at our tournament at Indian Wells, and all the major tennis tournaments, to pay equal prize money to both the women and the men.
“I would like to personally thank all the great women athletes who fought so hard for so many years in the pursuit of equal prize money in professional tennis. And I’d like to congratulate them on their success. All of us here at the BNP Paribas Open promise to continue working with everyone to make tennis a better sport for everybody,” concluded Ellison.
The 69-year-old Moore took over as head of Indian Wells when Steve Simon left to lead the WTA last October.
While Moore has not made a public comment since the end of the tournament, on Sunday night, Moore’s daughter, Amanda, left this post under a blog post on this site.
“My dad has given his life to the game of tennis, and this morning he made a mistake – which every human has done. This by no means make him a sexist. In the world of tennis my dad has been fighting for equal prize money for women’s players and equal treatment in general for as long as I can remember. It is no secret that there are discrepancies between the genders in the game. My dad has fought for equality and has often told me that the women’s players work hard and the men work hard – there should be no difference in how they’re treated or rewarded. He is a champion of women – he is where I get strength from. He was the first tennis player to stand up against ex-hall of fame doubles playe Bob Hewitt for his crimes against female tennis players. He regrets what he said this morning more than any of you will ever know, so I felt I needed to stand up for him, because he has always stood up for me – especially when I make mistakes.”
Moore played on the men’s ATP tour mostly in the 70s reaching the Wimbledon and US Open quarterfinals, and won singles title and eight doubles. He also helped South Africa to the Davis Cup title in 1974.
Moore served as a player representative on the MIPTC (Men’s International Pro Tennis Council) and was elected Chairman of MIPTC in September of 1986. He was also a member of ATP Board of Directors and was ATP President from 1983-85.
— WTA (@WTA) March 22, 2016
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