Before Serena Williams stepped on the court at Indian Wells, Calif., in the final of the BNP Paribas Open, the event’s CEO, Raymond Moore, made a few sexist comments at the tournament’s press conference.
According to Moore, male players have carried the sport of tennis, and the “lady players” of the Women’s Tennis Association ride the coattails of men. Moore also made comments about how attractive some of the female players are:
On Sunday, Williams played and lost to Victoria Azarenka, 6-4, 6-4, and had a few words about Moore’s comments during her press conference.
“Obviously, I don’t think any woman should be down on their knee 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 more—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,” she said.
Of course, after feeling the backlash from his sexist comments, Moore issued an apology.
“At my morning breakfast with the media, I made comments about the WTA that were in extremely poor taste and erroneous,” Moore said. “I am truly sorry for those remarks, and apologize to all the players and WTA as a whole. We had a women’s final today that reflects the strength of the players, especially Serena and Victoria, and the entire WTA. Again, I am truly sorry for my remarks.”