Do we have to wait for the ‘old boys club’ to retire before women in sport are fully respected?





Nearly 40 years after the ‘Battle Of Sexies’ match, the formation of the WTA and women players finally getting paid the same as male players …tennis has taken a little step backwards this week with the comments from a CEO of a prestigious tournament offending every women in the game.

Raymond Moore, the chief executive of the Indian Wells tennis tournament in California, one of the sport’s biggest outside the four grand slams, sparked controversy on Sunday when he said: “If I was a lady player, I would go down every night on my knees and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born.”

raymond moore

Moore continued: “They have carried this sport. They really have. When I come back in my next life, I want to be someone in the WTA [Women’s Tennis Association], because they ride on the coattails of the men.”

He later apologised, but the damage had been done.  Moore resigned from his post on Tuesday 

It’s not just tennis that has this problem, time again the issues within FIFA are blamed on the inside culture of the ‘old boys club’,

With all this in mind, we wanted to ask you:

  • Do we have to wait for the ‘old boys club’ to retire before women sport is fully respected?
  • How comments like this within your sport affect you?
  • Are you struggling in your sport as a woman because of barriers set by ‘the old boys club’?
  • How can sport move beyond the old boys club network that continues to accept men with the sexist opinions of Raymond Moore into positions of power?



Answers from twitter, Facebook & FCN Forum

Joey Peters – Out with the old, in with the new! Equality mindset that is.

Anita Broad – That, and get more women into the key managerial roles in sporting institutions. Change from within.

Debbie Ferguson –  it’s as but true such sexiest stereotypes have existed thru the times. But it will take one fun fearless female (coach) to break such barriers one sport/event at a time. Two yrs ago I did. Just started coaching hurdles and had an athlete at my former school  to break the indoor conference USA record in the 60m hurdles.As female coaches its sad that respect is still never given even when earned.So 1 step at a time. Remember we use to be just housewives 😉 We’ve come a long way no time to grow weary. #the struggle

Sarah McDonald – Why not educate the “old boys’ club” and get the respect you deserve now? Stand your ground, show your value, demand respect.

Fit Communications – I hope not! Awareness of the issue is step 1. Next – level the playing field. It’s a long road, but we’ll achieve!

Jools Murray – Attack from the top, middle & bottom. Not about female, just about who’s best for optimal Sport Performance!

Bobbie Kelsey – Maybe?. . .but I sure hope not…

Redhead Lori – Going to take more than that, unfortunately. Lots of young men don’t respect women in sports.

Lin Dunn – Great question! Unfortunately I’m not optimistic… Maybe more women in leadership roles in male sports will help

Coach Meg – It is empowering yet disheartening that women are still overshadowed by the ‘old boys club’ instead of recognized

Lois Fidler – Transparency &clarity on expectations of those in position of power & influence.Dinosaurs vs those that Help-us-soar.  Elite sport is about #progress #change so outdated #attitudes #opinions that support or uphold #regress simply fuel the paradox

Melissa Hyndman – To ensure that as women n sport we stay united. Working stronger to support each other in different sporting codes.

Adrienne Engleman – Remind you of #Golf anyone?! 😉

Girls Tennis Coach – After working in the tennis industry for many years, I’m starting to see a rise in female coaches.

Carmen P – #womenssport in #finland deserves so much more exposure and they just don’t get it… #mynewfocus

Lora – One down w/ resignation of #RaymondMoore , only an entire industry left to go. #womeninsport #equalitywomen

Rachel Spruce –  retire or be forced to resign for letting the mask slip

Sarah Butcher –  I really hope not! But we don’t yet have equal pay in ‘normal’ jobs, need more respect across all aspects of life.

Carol Wical – When women are respected in the community they’ll bein sport too.That’s more than generational I think

Jo Kadlecek – If we waited for the nay-sayers to back down,we’d never take a step forward. It’s #WomensHistoryMonth for a reason!

Bea Quintos –  I think the Q frames it as only older men have misconceptions about women’s sports. It’s the whole of it, women’s sports… …doesn’t yet have that “full” respect from men AND women. That’s the paradigm to change; when it won’t just be token “equality”

OP Sport Finland – Timely question in light of scandals at the top levels of many sports… My answer is yes, we have to wait. Our time will come.

Womens Tennis Coaching Association – Fantastic post – let’s start with empowering language, absolutely critical!



  1. I don’t believe this should be about women wanting to invade the good old boys’ club. It is about finding ways for women and men to work together as full and respected members on the same team. For women to be respected, capable, and professional contributors in all aspects of the game – in the coaching ranks, in leadership and the boardroom, and in the operations and management of our sports organizations.


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