High life | 31 March 2016

My old mate and one-time tennis partner is right in what he says about professional tennis

High life | 31 March 2016
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My old friend and one-time doubles partner Ray Moore has stepped down as chief executive of the Indian Wells Tennis Tournament for telling the truth. As Rod Liddle wrote in these here pages a couple of weeks ago, ‘There is nothing more damaging to a career than telling an unfortunate truth.’ Ray Moore was a very good South African tennis player and is a very nice guy. He once partnered me to a final in a major tournament and we have stayed friends for 40 years and more. The man who owns the Indian Wells tournament, multi-billionaire Larry Ellison, is a pretty disgusting individual, who among many other horrors has also managed to ruin the America’s Cup by introducing ugly, mosquito-like high tech catamarans as likely to be sailed by the average person as one is to swim up Niagara Falls.

All poor Ray did was to say that women tennis players have ridden on the coattails of the men. Judging by the reaction — especially by the egregious New York Times — he might as well have said that male tennis players are better than the women. Moore apologised immediately following his outburst, but he was a goner. The first to attack was Martina Navratilova, a great player in her time, but one that would not have filled a small room with admirers because of her overt lesbianism at a time when men and women athletes were advised to keep their sexual proclivities to themselves.

At present, of course, being a lesbian is a plus, especially in sport and in Hollywood. All poor Ray Moore did was to remind us that men are the big draws in tennis, and it’s because of people like Federer and Nadal that the women take home very large cheques which they don’t earn on a level playing field. (No, I will not resign from this column and you can go screw yourself, whoever you are.) A level playing field and equal pay would mean women competed against men as well as women, and played the best of five sets in Grand Slams. And before I forget, a man ranked 500 or even 1,000 will win Wimbledon every time if allowed to play against women. (Again, go screw yourself, whoever you are.) These truths we hold to be universal, at least for those of us who have played on the tennis tour, but try telling this to the moronic whiners who make a living by perennial outrage.

So a good man loses his livelihood because of the professional busybodies that look for racism and sexism, and the tour goes on. PC lives, and it will get worse. Maria Sharapova is caught doping and her team of defenders goes into overdrive. She no more has a history of diabetes and heart problems than I have a history of self-denial, but smart lawyers will get her a good deal or my name is Roy Emerson. And speaking of that great Aussie who won 12 Grand Slams, last year was the 50th anniversary of his first Wimbledon victory. So what did the BBC do? It instructed the saccharine Clare Balding to commemorate instead the 40th anniversary of Arthur Ashe’s Wimbledon victory, his single one. I never knew that a 40th anniversary takes precedence over a 50th one, but then I’m not politically correct. Ashe was black and Emerson white, so non-stop encomiums for Ashe were the order of the championships.

Yep, this is how it goes, and I hope a know-nothing PC slave by the name of Harvey Araton who just about demanded Ray Moore to be fired can keep his job at the NY Times a bit longer in order to help readers sleep longer during the long hot summer coming up. The only good news was that the owner of Gawker, a slimy Brit in the slimiest of businesses, Nick Denton, got smacked for close to 150 million big ones — he’s personally responsible for only about ten million — for showing a tape of Hulk Hogan having sex without his consent. Denton is an unpleasant man who thinks he has the right to look into other peoples’ private lives and moments in order to enrich himself. In France he would have ended up in jail long ago. In America he has become a celebrity and a multi-millionaire. Strike a win for the good guys. The tape was in reckless disregard and with intent to harm the Hulk. Pay up arsehole.

Finally, the outrage in Brussels speaks for itself. I was flying out from Geneva at the same time the scum blew away innocent people, and I couldn’t help think how Belgium is a microcosm of the EU. Multi-ethnic, split between Dutch- and French-speaking people, corrupt, incompetent, and much too scared to open the can of worms that is Molenbeek, the section of Brussels the Belgian army and the cops are too scared to occupy and clean up. The Belgians are the biggest contributors per capita to jihad in Syria, yet the state welcomes them when they return with open arms. Like the EU, the Belgian government fears charges of racism more than IS terror. When the Paris suspect was arrested four days before the outrage, I watched in the news Muslim women and men screaming abuse at cops who were searching for him. This is Belgium. This is the EU. Enjoy the Spring.