LPGA English-rule controversy

September 12, 2008 — by Theresa Yeh

LPGA English-rule Controversy
By: Theresa Yeh
Word Count: 285

The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) recently introduced then rescinded a new rule that requires all players to pass an oral English language test or face a suspension of their membership.

The LPGA has stated that with the declining economy, they need players who know enough English to be able to communicate effectively with their sponsors. They consider golf an interactive sport that requires players to be able to speak fluently during interviews and other sport-related conversations, especially when meeting fans.

They declared that the enforcement of this rule in foreign players would help them learn English as a step to help them in their careers. After much controversy, the LPGA finally realized that they should promote the learning of a new language for foreign players but should not pressure them with a loss of membership.

There are currently 121 international players from 26 different countries playing in LGPA events, all of whom were subjected to taking this test or face suspension. This issue had to be settled because it will affect many other sports too considering the recent increase in international players.

The new regulation also undermined the idea of the United States as a welcoming and diverse country. This discrimination violated American principles. Some even believed that this rule was illegal and players could have won in court The LGPA was technically denying them the right to work because these players depend on the matches for a living.

If the law was put in action, there would have been a loss in the quality of the sport. Many of the top players on the circuit are from countries like South Korea that do not speak English as their primary language. If these players were removed from the golf, fewer strong players will compete.

Fortunately, the law was repealed. People should realize that there is an inevitable expansion of international players and the country must adapt to this change. America should not punish other people because they cannot speak English fluently, and if they must, resort to less drastic measures.

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