Monday 21 March 2016


An age-old argument has erupted in the world of tennis, sparked by the ineloquent and sexist CEO of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, Mr. Raymond Moore. Mere hours ago Mr. Moore said that women tennis players “ride on the coat tails of men.” He went on to say that if he were a woman tennis player, “he’d go down on his knees and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were born, because they have carried this sport.” I’ll let that one sink in for a moment (especially for you women out there). Cause gosh, there is no better place for a woman than on her knees thanking a man, now is there Mr. Moore (god I feel sorry for your wife).

Before I launch into this pig’s sexist, misogynist and myopic remarks, I will remind you of the women that have made the sport of tennis what it is today. Currently, Serena Williams is the world number 1 tennis player. She has done as much for the game as any male or female tennis player out there, perhaps more. She was 2015 Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the year, has won 21 Grand Slam titles (that’s just GS titles, her other accomplishments would fill a book), been the number one player on six separate occasions, and holds the most major singles, doubles, and mixed doubles titles combined amongst active players, male or female. Suck on that Mr. Moore.

Adding to the long list of women that have revolutionized the game, there are many many others that have dominated in a blistering manner. Steffi Graff for instance, with 22 Grand Slam singles, holding the number 1 spot longer than any other female or male player. Venus Williams holds 7 Grand Slam singles and 22 in total (including doubles), Chris Evert Lloyd, holds 18 slams, Martina Navratilova, Navratilova was World No. 1 for a total of 332 weeks in singles, and a record 237 weeks in doubles, making her the only player in history to have held the top spot in both singles and doubles for over 200 weeks, winning 18 Grand Slam titles. These stats are just a drop in the bucket. I could literally go on all day and tell you about records that have been broken, milestones reached, blood, sweat and tears poured into a sport that often has been dominated by men -- IN THE press. When people discuss the world’s greatest player, it is Federer’s or the Nadal’s that come into discussion. It is rarely the Serena Williams of this world who have broken more ground than any other athlete out there.

But to truly understand the audacity of this idiot’s words, one has to understand what it is to break into a sport not only dominated by men, but by white men who have the opportunity to do so. The appearance on the scene of the Williams sisters was not only unique; it was revolutionary in their single-handed dominance of a very white, upper class sport. Their power game utterly stunned the tennis world and to be frank, put butts in seats and smiles on many an advertiser’s faces. Moreover, it inspired a generation of women to realize their power, to become tennis players, to become anything. It showed the world that strength and power was not only sexy, it was beautiful and moreover, achievable. These two homeschooled, family coached girls from Compton proved that it was perseverance; hard work and sheer female power that was tantamount, not fancy entourages and hoards of money.

I think it suffices to say that the Williams, Grafs and Navratilovas of the world did NOT ride any man’s coattails into a sport. They earned their place in history on their own efforts and merits and to suggest otherwise is vile and sexist as hell. There are those that may want to defend this moron CEO and say he was merely suggesting that more people watch the men’s game, hence the women should be grateful; I say he should realize that myopic statements like that are what simply add fuel to a women’s power and women should be grateful for nothing more than perhaps if a male tennis player can reach something on a high shelf for them (and even still I’d be more opt to grab a ladder). We women succeed in a male dominated world, sporting or not, and should be grateful to solely the women that came before us and paved the way. We have to fight harder, prove we’re more worthy, juggle more things and come up against idiots like this man who want to take away our accomplishments.  So Mr. Moore, on behalf of Serena Williams, you can get down on your knees and thank her for revolutionizing the game.
Copyright © 2014 Anthea Anka - Delighted And Disturbed