So what’s the over/under on the number of weeks before the ACLU gets involved on this one?
Today, the LPGA announced that all of its card-carrying members will be required to be proficient in English. Beginning next season, players will kicked to the penalty box (i.e suspended) if they cannot pass an oral evaluation test.
According to AP, there are 121 international players on the LPGA tour, including 45 from South Korea–whose players will be most affected by the decision. Perhaps not so coincidentally, the Koreans are kicking booty on the tour.
AP quotes LPGA Deputy Commish Libba Galloway: “Why now? Athletes now have more responsibilities and we want to help their professional development. There are more fans, more media and more sponsors. We want to help our athletes as best we can succeed off the golf course as well as on it.”
Read, more sponsors. In other words, make sure the big wigs at the Monday Pro-Ams know what the crap you are saying.
I don’t really watch the LPGA, but I’ll be following this. It will be a huge precedent, and as much it seems reasonable in theory, it will definitely affect the quality of play if a bunch of players get suspended.
What’s more interesting, though–what if Major League Baseball or the NBA were to take this approach? MLB has a massive amount of Latino players who don’t speak a lick of English. Same issue, but no way in hades is Bud Selig going to ever do something like this. Maybe, help them speak English, but no way he’d suspend them.
Not a big deal to me if they don’t speak English. If I were an LPGA fan, I’d just want to see the best players. But the sponsors, i.e. the money, drive these decisions…it’s obviously something that is affecting their tour much more than other sports associations and leagues like MLB, so I guess it’s something they gotta do.
Mark it down, though. Lawsuits on the way.