Out professional tennis player Tara Moore is accusing the WTA of secrecy and keeping most of its players out of the loop as it decides how to emerge from the coronavirus shutdown.
In an open letter, the British native says 2/3rds of players have been shut out of meetings between WTA officials and top-tier players. In these meetings, she says the parties discuss wide-ranging issues such as the Player Relief Program and resumption of a tournament schedule.
Moore even called the dealings “insider trading.”
“Players included in these meetings are given inside information and told not to share this with other players outside of the meeting,” she writes. “This can then help them prepare better for the resumption of the tour over players without this information, which therefore constitutes as a form of insider trading.”
Moore, the No. 233- ranked player in the world, brings light to an important issue for the vast majority of women’s tennis players ranked outside the top 200. The coronavirus pandemic has ravaged virtually all industries, and within the sports world, this uncertainty is multiplied for lower and unranked tennis players without a professional safety net. The international nature of the WTA tour means that travel and accommodation can be financially prohibitive for many outside the top 100, and Moore’s claims that players are being excluded from important logistical meetings that could impact their livelihoods makes it only harder for them to compete.
Moore is right to call the WTA’s practice of excluding players from the decision-making process a form of “insider trading.” Between this year’s calls for a WTA-ATP merger and echoes of 2018’s murmurs of player unionization, there is clearly a demand for a more democratic and equitable organization acting by and for the players in global tennis.