“Being a U.S.-based tour, and with the majority of our fan base, pro-am contestants, sponsors and participants being English speaking, we think it is important for our players to effectively communicate in English.”Or so the tour official says. But I can't help but feel this is a giant steaming pile of something you'd spend a good deal of time scraping from your shoe.
South Korean players interviewed supported the policy, including the Hall of Famer Se Ri Pak. “We agree we should speak some English,” said Pak, who added that she thought fines seemed a fairer penalty than suspensions. “We play so good over all. When you win, you should give your speech in English.”Meaning, even if your English is great at other times, if you're being interviewed on national television and you've just won (or lost) a tremendous prize, you'll probably forget everything you know about English grammar anyway.
She added: “Mostly what comes out is nerves. Totally different language in front of camera. You’re excited and not thinking in English.”
But isn't this just horseshit to begin with? These women are athletes: since when do athletes have to speak any other language than the laguage of their sport?
That sounds more right to me. The article tells us similar things about the NHL and the NBA. So tell me, dears, why would women's golf be different?
Major League Baseball, which has a high percentage of foreign-born athletes, said it had not seen the need to establish a language guideline. Pat Courtney, a spokesman for M.L.B., said baseball had not considered such a policy because it wanted its players to be comfortable in interviews and wanted to respect their cultures.
“Given the diverse nature of our sport, we don’t require that players speak English,” he said. “It’s all about a comfort level.”
In fairness, that's some bullshit. Are these women athletes or golf escorts? Do the corporate sponsors of basketball fear Kobe or respect Kobe or are they just not sexually attracted to Kobe? Why no desire to spend the afternoon with him doing their free throw thing?
In fairness, comparisons between the L.P.G.A., an independent organization not affiliated with the PGA Tour, and other sports bodies are imprecise. The L.P.G.A., much like the PGA Tour, is a group of individual players from diverse backgrounds whose success as an organization depends on its ability to attract sponsorships from companies looking to use the tour for corporate entertainment and advertisement.
Rarely are N.B.A. players called upon to play one-on-one with a corporate executive whose decision to write a sponsorship check is predicated on whether one had a good time shooting free throws with Kobe Bryant.
Yes golf is the sport of corporate dickheads. So what CEO wouldn't love to do 18 holes with a cute little Korean girl who can really play? But if she doesn't catch a minute of your jokes or flirting and then leaves when you're done, I guess it's a lot less fun? I guess you realize she's an athlete and not your little golf-playing geisha girl, and that might be hard to get over? Maybe you won't even write your check to underwrite the tour at that point? (I'm guessing playing with sucky players with deep pockets is the height of boredom for the athlete herself--not that anyone seems to care.)
Lastly, Your Daily Jouralism Watch: this article never mentions whether or not there there is a similar rule in the most similar organization to the LPGA, the PGA. While it goes to lengths to point out that the LPGA is different from the ABL, NHL, and NBA, and far more similar to the PGA, it never tells us if golf-playing Spaniards in the PGA are being pressured into taking weekend language courses so they can pal around with the corporate sponsors and get all Big Moneyboss' hi-larious jokes.
Edit/Added: If anyone cares, yes, I do know how to play golf, but I've never played 18 holes because I've never wanted to splash out that much money. I live in one of the most golf-centric parts of the country, I've been to PGA tournaments, my brother was a PGA groundskeeper, golf is the single and only sport I enjoy watching on TV, and a think a know a few things about it... including that fact that working class people (like myself, my brother, Brian...) do play the sport. But we're hardly the target audience of golf-bag ads, and when you're talking about LPGA players being asked to coozie up to corporate sponsors, that is the "sport of bosses and whores" I refer to in my title.