Claims of sexism in sport returned to the headlines this week after a tournament director claimed men “carried the sport”.
During a press conference, Indian Wells tournament director Raymond Moore was asked about the importance of the tournament for the Women’s Tennis Association.
“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,” Moore said.
Champion player Serena Williams slammed Moore’s statement in a post-match interview.
“Obviously I don’t think any woman should be down on their knees thanking anybody like that,” Williams said.
Men’s number one Novak Djokovic said he supported female empowerment, but said male players should be paid more.
“I think that our men’s tennis world, ATP world, should fight for more [prize money] because the stats are showing that we have much more spectators on the men’s tennis matches,” Djokovic said.
“I don’t think there is an over-riding sexism between the women’s and men’s side of tennis. For the most part the games co-exist, and play side by side at most of the big events we see throughout the year,” Wollongong Complete Tennis coach Stuart Barkley said.
Barkley said issue of equal prize money created a division between professional male and female players.
“There is the general train of thought that women do “less work” then the men, so the prize money should be less for the women,” he said.