On Sunday he was riding high as CEO of California's Indian Wells Tennis Garden and director of the BNP Paribas Open tournament held there. On Monday, Raymond Moore stepped down from both posts, reports the New York Times, after making disparaging comments about women tennis players over the weekend, including saying that women "ride the coattails of the men" players and that they should get down on their knees to thank top male players for keeping the sport going. Oracle founder Larry Ellison, who owns the tourney, said Moore had informed him of his resignation and that "I fully understand his decision."
The 69-year-old Moore had offered up mea culpas, but pushback from the tennis community, including Serena Williams and the CEO of the Women's Tennis Association, soon took over. Ellison pointed out the "ongoing, multi-generational, progressive movement to treat women and men in sports equally," ESPN reports, and cited female tennis greats such as Billie Jean King, the Williams sisters, and Martina Navratilova, who per the BBC called Moore's comments "really disheartening" and "extremely prejudiced." "We have made it this far on our own, without help from male players, and will continue to do so in the future," she said, noting how she didn't see how women could continue to play at Indian Wells if Moore stayed.