Novak Djokovic weighed in on the gender debate in professional tennis on Sunday, calling Indian Wells tournament CEO Raymond Moore's controversial comments "not politically correct" but also suggesting that women's tennis players shouldn't get as much prize money as the men because their sport isn't as popular.
"I think that maybe our men's tennis world, ATP world, should fight for more, because the stats are showing that we have much more spectators on the men's tennis matches," Djokovic said Sunday after winning the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. "I think that's one of the reasons why maybe we should get awarded more. But, again, we can't complain because we also have great prize money in men's tennis."
Since 2007, prize money at all four majors has been equal between men and women. Combined masters events, like Indian Wells, do the same.
"Women should fight for what they think they deserve and we should fight for what we think we deserve," Djokovic said. "I think as long as ... there is data and stats available and information upon who attracts more attention, spectators, who sells more tickets and stuff like that, in relation to that it has to be fairly distributed."
When asked if he would think women should get paid more if their sport becomes the more popular of the two, Djokovic answered, "Absolutely, absolutely."
Moore drew heavy criticism Sunday after stating:
"In my next life, when I come back I want to be someone in the WTA because they ride on the coattails of the men," Moore said. "They don't make any decisions and they are lucky. They are very, very lucky.
"If I was a lady player, I'd go down every night on my knees and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born because they have carried this sport. They really have."
Asked if he found those comments offensive, Djokovic said: "We have to be fair to say that it's not politically correct. I mean, maybe it was exaggerated a little bit, but that's just my opinion."