Director quits after criticizing women pros

The tournament director of the BNP Paribas Open who said women’s pro tennis players “ride on the coattails of the men” resigned tonight, ending his 29-year association with the event.

Tournament owner Larry Ellison said in a statement that Raymond Moore was quitting as chief executive officer and tournament director of the $7 million event featuring men’s and women’s players in the California desert.

A tournament spokesman could offer no further details on Moore’s resignation, citing only Ellison’s statement.

Moore apologized after he was roundly criticized by executives from the women’s and men’s pro tours, players Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka and on social media for his comments Sunday.

Ellison, a billionaire and co-founder of Oracle Corp., credited Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova and Serena and Venus Williams, as well as other female athletes, for their leadership in treating women and men equally in sports.

“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,” Ellison said in his statement.