Raymond Moore, the CEO and tournament director of the BNP Paribas Open, stepped down Monday in the wake of criticism over controversial comments he made about the state of women’s tennis.
Moore made the offending comments Sunday, on the morning of the finals of the much-revered tournament in Indian Wells, Calif., often called "the fifth major" for its stature among players.
He wasn’t done there. He also made comments about the "attractive prospects" in women’s tennis who could carry the torch into future generations:
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 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.
Moore’s comments were roundly rebuffed, most notably by Serena Williams, but also by the head of the WTA and many others.