Serena Williams and Andy Murray have condemned the comments made by renowned tennis player Novak Djokovic who remarked that the inequality in pay between women and men players is justifiable.
Regarding Djokovic’s stance as an approval to gender inequality, Williams, Murray and other top tennis players of the world welcomed the resignation of Indian Wells tournament director Raymond Moore who deemed it fit to downgrade the women’s tennis.
Novac Djokovic followed up Moore’s move with controversial remarks. “We are working actually so hard and the WTA is helping us,” he said.
He noted that woman have to go through “hormones and different stuff” and that men’s tennis matches have more spectators to justify more pay for them. “I think that’s one of the reasons why maybe we should get awarded more,” Djokovic stated.
This comment raised many eyebrows including Serena Williams’, who has won 21 Grand Slam singles crowns compared to Novak Djokovic’s 11.
“It has been, I would say disappointing,” Williams said on Tuesday about the remark by Novak Djokovic. “I wouldn’t say my son deserved more money than my daughter because he’s a man. It would be shocking.”
“He’s entitled to his opinion,” Williams said. “If he had a daughter, he has a son right now, he should talk to his daughter and say, ‘Your brother deserves more money than you.’”
Britain’s Andy Muray on the other hand agreed with Williams that he will never tell his children one deserves more than the other because of their gender.
“If I had a son and a daughter I would never tell them one deserves more because of their sex.”
Noting Djokovic’s notion that men should receive less than women if their matches were less well attended with an example of how many fans would show up to watch if Williams and Ukraine’s Sergiy Stakhovski each had a match in a ticketed session, Murray said; “I think there should be equal pay 100%.”
He however agreed that tournament directors of both ATP and WTA should be left with task of sorting out prize money.
Stan Wawrinka was of the view that female players attract crowds too especially Serena and that it was disappointing to hear such comment coming from Djokovic.
“We are training 100% the same as the men. We’re more troubled with hormones and other things? He should not have said what he said…What he said was not right at all,” said the two-time Grand Slam champion.
Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska said it was “good” that Moore “stepped back” for his comments but took issue with Djokovic. “We work so hard for this, spend so much time practicing. I don’t think we do any less than the men…We don’t deserve less prize money,” she added.
Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic has apologized for his comments stating; “As you may have seen, I was asked to comment on a controversy that wasn’t of my making.
Euphoria and adrenaline after the win on Sunday got the best of me and I’ve made some comments that are not the best articulation of my view, and I would like to clarify them.
We all have to fight for what we deserve. This was never meant to be made into a fight between genders and differences in pay, but in the way all players are rewarded for their play and effort. This was my view all along and I want to apologize to anyone who has taken this the wrong way.”