Serena Williams Claps Back at Sexist CEO

Serena Williams Claps Back at Sexist CEO

Backlash leads to Raymond Moore resigning from Indian Wells.

Published March 21st

UPDATE: Well, that didn't take long.

Indian Wells CEO Raymond Moore resigned Monday night after receiving severe backlash, led by Serena Williams, over sexist comments he made this past weekend about men in tennis being superior to women in the sport.

"Ray let me know that he has decided to step down from his roles as CEO and Tournament Director, effective immediately," the company's owner Larry Ellison said in a statement to ESPN on Monday night. "I fully understand his decision."

Although he apologized, Moore couldn't overcome his extremely controversial statement about the Women's Tennis Association.

"I think the WTA...You know, in my next life, when I come back, I want to be someone in the WTA because they ride on the coattails of the men," Moore said, according to ESPN. "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."

Williams and other women in the WTA clapped back with anger, leading to Moore's speedy resignation.

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PREVIOUSLY: As far as women have come in sports, it's amazing that there are those who still try to push them back.

Well, Serena Williams isn't having it. Before losing to Victoria Azarenka in BNPP Paribas Open final Sunday, the queen clapped back at Indian Wells CEO Raymond Moore for saying that men are carrying the Women's Tennis Association. Odd, because we were under the impression that Serena has been carrying tennis for years now and we're not alone in thinking that, either.

"Obviously, I don't think any woman should be down on their knees thanking anybody like that," she told the media, as reported by ESPN. "I think Venus [Williams], myself, a number of players have been — 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."

This comes in response to Indian Wells CEO Raymond Moore, who is a former tennis player from South Africa, saying that women have been riding on the coattails of men in the sport. Wow. Really?

"I think the WTA [Women's Tennis Association]... You know, in my next life, when I come back, I want to be someone in the WTA because they ride on the coattails of the men," Moore said, according to ESPN. "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."

Although Moore would later apologize, his apology wouldn't come before feeling Williams's wrath.   

She especially blasted him when a reporter asked her if Moore's comments could have been misconstrued.

"Well, if you read the transcript, you can only interpret it one way. I speak very good English. I'm sure he does too," Williams said, as reported by ESPN. "You know, there's only one way to interpret that. Get on your knees, which is offensive enough, and thank a man, which is not —we, as women, have come a long way. We shouldn't have to drop to our knees at any point."

Overall, Williams is surprised — as are we — that sexist feelings like that are still being made public in 2016.

"Yeah, I'm still surprised, especially with me and Venus and all the other women on the tour that's done well," Williams said. "Last year, the women's final at the US Open sold out well before the men. I'm sorry, did Roger play in that final or Rafa or any man play in that final that was sold out before the men's final? I think not.

"So I just feel like, in order to make a comment, you have to have history, and you have to have facts, and you have to know things," she continued. "You have to know of everything. I mean, you look at someone like Billie Jean King, who opened so many doors for not only women's players but women's athletes in general. So I feel like, you know, that is such a disservice to her and every female — not only a female athlete but every woman on this planet — that has ever tried to stand up for what they believed in and being proud to be a woman."

Even King weighed in on the issue.

Don't ever come for Serena, Mr. Moore.

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(Photo: Harry How/Getty Images)

Written by Mark Lelinwalla

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