Now that the Indian Wells tennis tournament’s chief executive officer Raymond Moore is out the door after sexist remarks, Fila is supportive of the decision and ready for his successor.
Fila North America’s chief operating officer Jennifer Estabrook said Tuesday, “We were shocked and extremely disappointed by the comments made by former BNP Paribas Open ceo Raymond Moore. Fila has a history of sponsoring WTA Tour champions past and present and we fully recognize and celebrate the influence of women in sport, and the contributions they have made to the game of tennis in their own right. We applaud the swift action taken by the tournament and its owner, Larry Ellison and we look forward to the selection of a new ceo, who we expect will reflect a shared commitment to the importance of women in tennis.”
Moore was criticized for saying the Women’s Tennis Association “rides on the coattails” of the men’s before Sunday’s final between Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka.
“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. They really have.” Moore was reported as saying.
Top-ranked Serena Williams, a Nike-sponsored athlete, publicly challenged that claim as did Martina Navritilova, who raised the issue of a potential boycott by female players..
On Monday, Novak Djokovic, who defeated Nadal over the weekend at Indian Wells, wound up intensifying the situation. After noting that “women deserve respect and admiration for what they’re doing,” Djokovic, an 11-time Grand Slam winner, also noted that “our men’s tennis world, ATP world, should fight for more because the stats are showing that we have much more spectators on the men’s tennis matches. I think that’s one of the reasons why maybe we should get awarded more. Women should fight for what they think they deserve and we should fight for what we think we deserve.”
Executives at Uniqlo, Head and Penn, three brands that sponsor Djokovic, did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday. Head and Penn, which share the same parent company, are also among the sponsors of the Indian Wells tournament, as is Moët Chandon, another company that did not respond to a request for comment.