Tuesday, March 22, 2016

BNP official resigns after criticizing female players

   One day after insulting female tennis players, Raymond Moore resigned Monday night as CEO and tournament director of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
   "Ray let me know that he has decided to step down from his roles as CEO and tournament director effective immediately," tournament owner Larry Ellison said. "I fully understand his decision."
   Earlier, International Tennis Hall of Famer Martina Navratilova wrote in a text message to The New York Times, "It would be hard to imagine any women wanting to go and play at Indian Wells if Moore stays as the tournament director."
   The BNP Paribas Open was just recovering from a racially charged controversy involving Venus and Serena Williams in 2001. Serena vowed never to return but did last year, and Venus joined her this year.
   Moore, a 69-year-old former touring pro from South Africa, discussed the women's tour at a news conference before Sunday's women's and men's singles finals.
   "In my next life when I come back, I want to be someone in the WTA because they ride the coattails of the men," said Moore, who worked for decades to help build the BNP Paribas Open into the "fifth Grand Slam." "They don't make any decisions, and they are lucky. They are very, 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 this sport."
   Moore also referred to young standouts Eugenie Bouchard and Garbine Muguruza as "physically attractive and competitively attractive."
   Moore later apologized, saying his comments were "in extremely poor taste and erroneous."
   There has been no word of Moore's replacement. Ellison could turn a negative into a positive by naming a woman.
   Forbes magazine ranks Ellison, the co-founder and former CEO of Oracle software, as the fifth-richest person in the world with a net worth of $50.6 billion.

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