There's always one, isn't there. There's always one crusty old tennis official who just can't shut his mouth when his head is filled with antiquated sexist thoughts.
Today's misguided yapper is a 69-year-old fellow named Raymond Moore. He's the CEO of Indian Wells Tennis Garden, the California facility which this week hosted the BNP Paribas Open.
While talking to reporters today ahead of the men’s final between Novak Djokovic and Milos Raonic -- which you won't be surprised to learn Djokovic won -- Moore delivered the following really disrespectful comments:
"You know, in my next life when I come back I want to be someone in the WTA because they ride on the coat tails of the men. They don’t make any decisions and they are lucky. They are very lucky.
“If I was a lady player, I’d go down every night on my knees and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born, because they have carried this sport. They really have."
The inference that women owe interest in their sport to men did not sit well with anyone who has ever watched the artfulness, tactics and -- increasingly -- the power of women's tennis. It particularly didn't sit well with Serena Williams, who after losing the Indian Wells final to Belarusian Victoria Azarenka, saved one last serve for Raymond Moore.
“Obviously I don’t think any woman should be down on their knees thanking anybody like that,” Williams said.
“If I could tell you every day how many people say they don’t watch tennis unless they’re watching myself or my sister, I couldn’t even bring up that number. So I don’t think that is a very accurate statement."
“I think there is a lot of women out there who are very exciting to watch. I think there are a lot of men out there who are exciting to watch. I think it definitely goes both ways. I think those remarks are very much mistaken and very, very, very inaccurate.”
There have been calls for Raymond Moore's resignation. If he needs work, he might try gardening as he clearly has a knack for digging holes. As he tried to clarify his remarks, he said:
"They have a lot of very attractive players, and the standard in ladies' tennis has improved unbelievably."
A journalist then asked whether he meant physically or competitively attractive.
"I mean both," Moore replied.
And that was pretty much game, set and match.Suggest a correction