“No, I think the WTA – you know, in my next life when I come back I want to be someone in the WTA, (Laughter because they ride on the coattails of the men. They don’t make any decisions and they are lucky. They are very, very lucky.
“If I was a lady player, I’d go own 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 above quotes come courtesy Indian Wells CEO Raymond Moore who for reasons only known to himself, chose the morning of the BNP Paribas Open final between Serena Williams and Victoria Arazenka to suggest (among other things) that the women’s tour has a number of (physically) “attractive” players. While campaigning for Moore’s resignation, Forbes’ Patrick Rishe asks, “I wonder if any of the young whippersnappers at MIT have come up with a formula to quantify stupidity?”
First of all, for a variety of reasons, women’s tennis is every bit as popular as men’s tennis…and has been for a long time. Has Mr. Moore attended any of the major events in recent years? Or how about the last two decades?
Second, how out-of-touch (or at least temporarily careless) can a guy be when he makes gender sensitive comments as the leader of any organization…let alone the leader of a tennis event.
Third, let’s talk about the timing of these comments. To make these comments on the morning of the women’s finals is insensitive enough. But to make matters worse, you say it when Serena Williams – who had not participated at this particular venue for several years and surely helped sell tickets to this year’s event – is one of the contestants in the finals.