Heavy criticism makes Djokovic back off from ‘men should get more’ remark
Novak Djokovic retrieved his comments that men's tennis players should make more than women. He had faced severe backlash from Serena Williams and Andy Murray for these remarks. Djokovic issued an apology saying that "this was never meant to be made into a fight between genders and differences in pay, but in the way all players are rewarded for their play and effort."
In comments which caused a massive stir, Indian Wells boss Raymond Moore said if he were a female player he would "go down every night on my knees and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born". Moore was responding to a quesion on whether Indian Wells WTA tournament wanted to be moved into a category of its own on WTA circuit.
Moore, who remarked that Women's Tennis Association (WTA) had ridden off the back of the success of the men's players said, "In my next life when I come back I want to be someone in the WTA because they ride on the coat-tails of the men."
Indian Wells chief executive Raymond Moore apologised for his controversial comments. "I made comments about the WTA that were in extremely poor taste and erroneous,... I am truly sorry for those remarks, and apologise to all the players and WTA as a whole." Moore said. Referring to the tournament's Women's final, Moore said it reflected the strength of the players, especially Serena and Victoria.
Indian Wells 2016 was won by Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka in Men's and Women's Single respectively. While Novak beat Milos Raonic 6-2, 6-0, Azarenka stunned Serena Williams 6-4, 6-4 to capture the title. Both Novak and Azarenka had something to say about Moore's remarks.
World no.1 Novak Djokovic described Moore's comments as "not politically correct". Novak, however, questioned equal prize money in tennis, suggesting men should get better awards as they have more spectators. He defended use of viewing statistics to determine fair distribution of prizes . Djokovic agreed that if those numbers changed and Women's game overtook Mens', then they should 'absolutely' be paid more than men.
Criticising Djokovic, Serena Williams said: "It has been, I would say disappointing...I wouldn't say my son deserved more money than my daughter because he's a man. It would be shocking."
Respoding to Moore's comments, Victoria Azarenka said such criticism towards women remained an issue in the world, including sports and business. "What women do best is rise above those comments," she said. "If we rise above that and keep working hard in everything we do, we're better... It's our duty to keep just working hard through whatever comments there is," Vika added.
Serena Williams condemned Indian Wells tournament director Raymond Moore for his controversial remarks on women players. "Obviously, I don't think that any woman should be down on their knees thanking anybody like that," Serena said. She also said Moore's coments were a disservice to female athletes and every woman on this planet that has ever tried to stand up for what they believed in.
Raymond Moore, Indian Wells CEO and tournament director quit his position after his 'sexist' comments after the tournament. The resignation came a day after Moore was widely condemned for his remarks at a press conference, for which Moore had apologised. Moore's resignation was announced by Larry Ellison, who is the owner of the tournament. Ellison further said that he understood Moore's decision.