ATP says Moore's comments about women in 'poor taste'

Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:22pm EDT
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(Reuters) - The ATP denounced BNP Paribas Open chief executive Raymond Moore's disparaging comments about female players while saying tournaments should decide how much to pay women.

Moore provoked outrage on Sunday when he said top-level women's players rode "on the coattails of the men" and were "very, very lucky" to have equal prize money.

"Ray Moore's comments towards women's tennis were disparaging and made in poor taste, as Ray has subsequently acknowledged," ATP Executive Chairman and President Chris Kermode said in a statement on Monday.

Kermode also said the ATP, the governing body for men's tennis, supports equality across society but acknowledged that it operates in the sports and entertainment business.

"The ATP seeks to achieve fair compensation for its players by setting minimum prize money levels for ATP events in accordance with the revenues that are generated from men's professional tennis," said Kermode.

"The ATP also respects the right of tournaments to make their own decisions relating to prize money for women's tennis, which is run as a separate Tour."

Men and women's players receive equal prize money at each of the year's four grand slam tournaments, some $75 million, where both genders share the spotlight.

Total prize money on the ATP Tour is about $188 million, while the women's WTA Tour (Women's Tennis Association) is roughly $130 million.

Moore, a 69-year-old South African and former ATP Tour player, also singled out Canada's Eugenie Bouchard and Spaniard Garbine Muguruza as being among the "very attractive prospects" on the WTA circuit tour, before explaining that they were "physically attractive and competitively attractive."   Continued...

The BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament chief executive officer Raymond Moore poses at the BNP Paribas Open ATP and WTA tennis tournament in Indian Wells, California, March 7, 2013. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok/Files