Tuesday, August 26, 2008

English as an LPGA requirement

This topic has gotten so much attention over the last two days, there is even a Deadspin item about it. I didn’t link to it on purpose – the item didn't have much to offer and if you want to read the misguided garbage in their comments, you can find it yourself. You would be better advised to read the original Beth Ann Baldry article and then savor the varied opinions of Ryan Ballengee’s GNN article and The Constructivist at Mostly Harmless plus the links to others that TC provides.

My opinion? I am sad that America’s isolationist (or is it elitist?) tendencies have backed the LPGA into this corner. The Tour is stuck between its home society which insists that the other 90% of the world conform to its words and rules, and a remote one which delivers a large portion of its product and revenue. I am a little surprised that the Tour sided with the former in this case – what happened to “money talks”? Like TC says, this choice begs the question of how the media and sponsors in Asia and Mexico should be catered to. It’s not like the majority of American media paid attention to what Yani Tseng or Ji Young Oh said after they won, anyway. Bivens and Company must have known that any gains this policy would make in that area would be countered by the negative publicity of their “insensitivity”. And give me a break on the pro-am excuse – if players not being able to speak good English to pro-am partners is that big of a deal, DON’T ASSIGN THEM TO PLAY IN THE PRO-AM! That goes for the Stanford Pro-Am event, too. Geez, how tough was that to figure out?

To summarize, it was a bad move. Take it back, Carolyn and we’ll try to forget about it.

12 comments:

Galley said...

It's not like it's a safety issue, where all pilots need to use English. Sheesh!

diane said...

galley, one would be hard pressed to call the language Bahraini, Saudi and Greek air traffic controllers I've dealt with English.

I think the underlying motive behind forcing international players to learn English is to reduce the number of Koreans on tour. Koreans being smarter than many in the US give them credit for, will start providing English classes to those with tour promise, but that won't cure the xenophobia.

Golfer2 said...

LPGA Pro Ams are filled by priority of the moneylist and no chance of simply "removing" Asian players from the Stanford Pro Am...and really, why would they. These kids can flat out play and it is to their advantage and of course the LPGA's if they can carry on a conversation with their wealthy and influential pro am partners.

This is a delicate subject, but the Asian players have embraced it...the program has been ongoing for a couple of years, it has just not been more formally addressed.

ABMSU said...

I understand the LPGA is a sport however it's also a business and in most business you are required to speak the local language which for the LPGA is English. There should be NO issue with players being able to speak basic English and anyone that is playing in the LPGA making the salary of the top 30 players can and should learn to deal with it. This isn't a slight against the Asian's, in fact I think it's a slight of the Asians to not already know how to speak English so they can communicate with the sponsers who are paying there winnings/salary's.

The Flogger said...

This isn't about getting more Koreans to speak English well and chat up sponsors - it's about getting rid of some of the Koreans on Tour. Some sponsors (and many fans) just hate all those Asians on tour. Where are all the Americans? (never mind that some of the Asians ARE Americans, we're too stupid to make that distinction)

Not for the easily offended:
http://www.golfspelledbackwards.com/2008/08/more-ways-lpga-will-require-its-players.html

JC said...

As others mentioned- no good Korean golfer is going to let this rule stand in their way. In the end I do believe they benefit from grasping the English language so no real harm done. I would appreciate it if abmsu would improve his/her langauage abilities-atrocious!

Wayne said...

LPGA: "Bitch better have my money"
So the LPGA is now pimping out their players huh. Fat middle aged men are complaining that they can't put the hustle on the girls during the pro am huh. Well guess what, these are athletes not geisha girls. Maybe the LPGA should focus more on why US girls are not playing the game and be lucky that the sport is growing in other parts of the world. Same with tennis, outside of the Williams girls, who are the US players. The LPGA should have stood up to the sponsers and said if you are only paying to sponser the event so you can play with the girls and have pillow talk then you are not here for the right reasons. So now you want some of your brightest stars to say pratice english instead of their putting, how sad, how discriminatiory, how shameful.

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