I missed the original incident; however, there was no shortage of sites available to fill me in today on the offensive comments made by the CEO of Indian Wells, Mr. Raymond Moore. I came home from work today to see a replay of his comments on the CBS News at 5pm.
“In my next life when I come back I want to be someone in the WTA because they ride the coattails of the men.”
He further went on to elaborate how lucky women tennis players are: “they are very lucky, very lucky. If I was a lady player, I’d go down every night on my knees and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were born because they have carried the sport.”
We live in a country that advocates freedom of speech. I think too many have gone too far with that liberty. Every thought that enters your mind should not come out of your mouth. Most of us have the ability to filter our thoughts before we act on them, this is what differentiates us from animals. Failure to do so usually results in embarrassing comments and behavior. Mr. Moore’s comments can easily be negated by statistical facts. The 2015 US Open Women’s Final was sold out before the Men’s. I remember very clearly that the 2013 US Open Women’s Final had a higher television rating than the Men’s (I did my research and the women had a 4.9 rating compared to the 2.8 of the men). By the way, the Men’s Final featured Rafael Nadal vs. Novak Djokovic.
You cannot use an apology as a band-aid for bad behavior. Too many people feel that it is okay to do or say whatever they want and then apologize. Unfortunately, an apology does not erase the psychological damage of insensitive words. Contrary to the old adage, “sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me”, words can have a more lingering negative impact than physical trauma. Why do so many people only follow tennis when Serena and Venus Williams are playing Mr. Moore if they were not able to carry the sport without the help of Federer and Nadal?