The ATP and WTA, through statements, commented on Raymond Moore’s quotes regarding equity of between ATP and WTA. The now-former Indian Wells tournament director said that women should go down every night on their knees and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born because the two had carried this sport.
“Ray Moore’s comments towards women”s tennis were disparaging and made in poor taste, as Ray as subsequently acknowledged. The ATP fully supports equality across society, while at the same time acknowledging that we operate in the sports and entertainment business.
“The ATP seeks to achieve fair compensation for its players by setting minimum prize money levels for ATP events in accordance with the revenues that are generated from men”s professional tennis. The ATP also respects the right of tournaments to make their own decisions relating to prize money for women”s tennis, which is run as a separate Tour,” said the ATP.
How can we interpret this important statement: ATP obviously does not agree with Moore’s quotes, who seemed to be clear when he said it. At the same time, when ATP says “we operate in the entertainment business”, it means that TV ratings are as important as the attendance for men”s and women”s tennis matches. If there is the difference in the stats, combined tournaments could have a separate prize money.
Steve Simon, who is WTA CEO, said: “The WTA has no tolerance for this kind of statements, this is a breach of our Code of Conduct and the board will review accordingly. The WTA stands on its own and was founded on the principles of equality and empowerment. I am proud of all the strong athletes on the WTA who put in hard work and every single day. Tennis is enriched by both female and male players.”
Since these statements by Moore “offend” Women players, it”s logical that unlike the ATP, the WTA did not speak about “entertainment business.”