Tuesday, September 02, 2008

LPGA update

Here's the update: The LPGA is getting a lot of crap about their new language policy that threatens suspension to any player who cannot pass an oral English competency test.
Other sporting organizations are taking the opportunity to boost their reputations noting that they don't have language requirements. That they provide translators. That their athletes will often learn English of their own accord; without pressure. Here's an example from the tennis world.
This NYT piece discusses the business side of the decision and quotes a confused Libba Galloway, the tour's deputy commissioner, who is "puzzled" by all the attention the new policy is receiving. But it also notes that Commissioner Carol Bivens hasn't spoken up publicly in support of it. Methinks she is throwing Galloway, who has been the public mouthpiece for the policy, under teh bus.
I had some concern when the story first broke about all the players rushing to show their (nearly) unequivocal support. Luckily others have taken up the fight against the discriminatory practice. Korean-Americans in California are ticked and have been able to influence members of the state legislature to look into the policy. (There are a lot of tournaments in CA and a lot of CA companies that are LPGA sponsors.)
The majors are over but there is still golf to be played on the LPGA tour this year. I would love to see some protests. (Any suggestions for good slogans? "Discrimination hurts in any language"??) And I am curious, though I think I can predict, how commentators are going to discuss the controversy.

1 comment:

Brian Barler said...

I think that LPGA's decision smacks of xenophobia.

At least the Beijing Games appointed an Esperanto translator and CRI broadcast daily, about the Games, in the language.

Confirmation can be seen at http://esperanto.cri.cn