“At my morning breakfast with the media, I made comments about the WTA that were in extremely poor taste and erroneous. I am truly sorry for those remarks, and apologize to all the players and WTA as a whole.” Raymond Moore Ex CEO
So this week the CEO of the brilliantly named BNP Paribas Open got into a spot of bother over his comments about the sacred subject of equal pay at the upper echelons of his sport.
Katie Hopkins over at the Daily Mail thought he had a fair point….
But most of the other personal opinion formers in the privileged press didn’t quite see it that way and the narrative very quickly turned to accusations of #everydaysexism
Serrena Williams, who is arguably the most popular tennis player currently on the circuit, certainly wasn’t impressed and described his comments as offensive.
British number 1 Andy Murray agreed and simply couldn’t understand what Moore was talking about but at least one star player did. Novack Djokovic offered the diplomatic observation that female players had “fought for what they deserve and they got it” but added that the men on the ATP tour should “fight for more” as long as there there is data to show that the men’s sport attracts more attention, larger viewing figures and sells more tickets.
Djokovic chose his words quite wisely which is possibly why he ultimately got off with an apology. Moore on the other hand was in big trouble from the moment Williams asserted that ‘lady players’ “shouldn’t be getting down on their knees thanking anyone like that.”
“The whole thing was very strange and very disappointing. I don’t understand at all where he was coming from with those comments. It made no sense at all. Andy Murray
Moore was quick to issue an apology but pandora was already out of her box and by now he was also under scrutiny for suggesting that #twirlgate‘s Eugenie Bouchard was ‘attractive‘.
Former one show host and shoe fetishist Hardeep Singh Kohli helpfully started projecting suspicions of sexual innuendo into the mix…
So by the time one of London’s (apparently) genuine candidates for the Mayoral vacancy showed an interest….
…and Martina Navratilova started calling for a boycott, it became obvious we were in the realms of a full blown sexism scandal (no pun intended).
and by the time world weary pundits where posing the possibility that Moore might be forced to have to consider his position….
It was only a matter of time…
Using the most basic comparative analysis formula favoured by the Office of Women & Equalities it’s possible to present a reasonably coherent argument that male competitors in tennis majors are earning an average of 60 pence to every female pound.
Even so, EYEis not especially interested in handbags at dawn over prize purses for millionaire athletes, so I’ll leave the BBC’s Chief Sport’s writer to provide a balanced analysis of the myth and minefield that is equal pay in tennis debate.
EYE simply want to make the observation about how quickly so many in the media moved to shut down the very notion of even allowing a discussion or, for that matter, allowing someone the right to express an honest opinion without it becoming a sackable offence.
Kevin Mitchel, who is the Guardian’s Tennis and Boxing correspondent, landed possibly the strongest slap down by implying that only a few ‘knuckle draggers‘ in the sport would agree with Djokovic’s words which must have been triggered by some sort of ‘inner beast button‘.
Djokovic, for all his sophistication and all-embracing cosmopolitan awareness of issues beyond his own sport has a beast button. Kevin Mitchel
Meanwhile Stephanie Miles was especially keen to admonish the Women’s Tennis Association for not issuing a swift, uncompromising top down response to such sexism but paused long enough to consider that Djokovic might even have been speaking for a silent male majority but we will never know because “few who think as he does would be so foolhardy in 2016 as to voice those sentiments in public, and he was rightfully excoriated for it“.
Excoriate: 1. To censure strongly or denounce. 2. To tear off a piece of a person’s skin.
It may indeed be fool hardy to risk the very real prospect of a painful public excoriation but we still have a long way to go before we achieve a fair and equitable press.
This week the guardian also reported that even though 65% of journalists now entering the profession are female, 55% of journalists are men.
And despite the fact that 54% of the profession are Oxbridge graduates, they still haven’t solved sexism because apparently equal pay gaps and glass ceilings are still alive and well in the papers that regularly report about their existence in practically every other industry.
Some women in their industry have done something about the fact that the ratio for journalists shortlisted for awards are three to one in favour of men and started their own women only journalism awards.
Which inspired the most impressive example of virtue signalling EYEnoticed this week:
and a snapshot from one of the award’s co founders of a world where sexism is finally consigned to history and reverse sexism is something that only exists in the minds of a few knuckle draggers who haven’t quite managed to emasculate their inner beast buttons.
Hardeep Singh Kohli was unavailable for comment.