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Published: 08:23 | 22/3/16

Moore resigns over comments

Indian Wells tournament chief Raymond Moore has stepped down from his position after his comments about women's tennis.

Moore caused a storm of controversy when he claimed that the women's game "rides on the coat-tails" of the men and that female players should "go down every night on (their) knees and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born".

The controversial comments were described as 'sexist' by the United States Tennis Association (USTA), while women's world number one Serena Williams claimed Moore's statement was "offensive and very inaccurate".

Moore subsequently apologised for his comments and informed Indian Wells owner Larry Ellison of his decision to step down.

"Earlier today I had the opportunity to speak with Raymond Moore. 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," a statement from Ellison read.

"Nearly half a century ago, Billie Jean King began her historic campaign for the equal treatment of women in tennis. What followed is an ongoing, multi-generational, progressive movement to treat women and men in sports equally.

"Thanks to the leadership of Billie Jean, Martina Navratilova, Venus Williams, Serena Williams and so many other great women athletes, an important measure of success has already been achieved. I'm proud to say that it is now a decade-long tradition at our tournament at Indian Wells, and all the major tennis tournaments, to pay equal prize money to both the women and the men.

"I would like to personally thank all the great women athletes who fought so hard for so many years in the pursuit of equal prize money in professional tennis. And I'd like to congratulate them on their success.

"All of us here at the BNP Paribas Open promise to continue working with everyone to make tennis a better sport for everybody."

While men's number one Novak Djokovic disagreed with Moore's comments, he stated his belief that male players should receive more prize money.

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