My thanks to all the people who’ve sent links to the row over statements by Raymond Moore, CEO of the Indian Wells tennis tournament, later taken up by Novak Djokovic and others.
Moore had the temerity to point out the blindingly obvious – that in mixed tennis tournaments, the women’s prize money should be less than the men’s, because revenues from ticket sales, television subscribers etc. are far higher for the men’s game than for the women’s game. And because women play far fewer games – in part because their matches consist of a minimum of two out of three sets, the men’s matches a minimum of three out of five sets, 50% more – in tournaments women find so physically undemanding that top female players can often make additional money from doubles matches during the same tournament.
Ridiculous comments from top female players included some from women’s world number one player, Serena Williams, who said Moore’s comments were, ‘offensive and very, very, very, very, very unintelligent.’
Unintelligent? What sort of a weasel word is that, in the context of women getting the same prize money as men, when their matches attract lower revenues, and require less effort? It’s nothing more than a shaming tactic. ‘Intelligent’ people would evidently demand women have the same prize money as men, because vagina.
The solution seems obvious to me. Let’s end the segregation of sports into men’s and women’s variants – the latter usually being as interesting to watch as the drying of paint – and just have: