Tennis chief steps down over sexist comments at Indian Wells

Raymond Moore stated the women's game was riding on "the coattails of the men"

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Raymond Moore. Picture by: Mark J. Terrill / AP/Press Association Images

After apologising for comments made about female tennis players needing to feel thankful for their male counterparts, Raymond Moore has stepped down as the CEO and Tournament Director of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells.

When speaking to the press during last week's tournament, Moore said; "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". He also added that the WTA ride on "the coattails of the men".

Moore's comments were broadly criticised by female stars of the game, both past and present. Martina Navratilova said she wouldn't find if difficult to understand if many stars boycotted next year's tournament if Moore had not stepped down. Billie Jean King said Moore's comments were "wrong on so many levels". 

Larry Ellison, the tournament owner revealed in a statement that Moore resigned from his position overnight.  "Ray let me know that he has decided to step down from his roles as CEO and Tournament Director effective immediately. I fully understand his decision."

Outside of the four Grand Slam tournaments, the Indian Wells event is one of the biggest on the tennis calendar. The tournament's were won by Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka last weekend.