Golf Digest WomanAugust 28, 2010

Hall-of-Famer Mann stirs up controversy

As first reported by Stephanie Wei on WeiUnderPar.com, 69-year-old LPGA and World Golf Hall of Fame member Carol Mann got herself into political hot water after posting an anti-muslim rant on her public Facebook page last week. In it, she said:

"I am against the Muslim worship center at Ground Zero because it's too much of a flagrant demonstration of our own 'tolerance' out of control. I do not believe the Muslims are the children of the God I know, the one who sacrificed His only Son, Jesus, to provide forgiveness and salvation for us without earning it by 'works.' All we have to do is believe in Christ and we gain His Kingdom. The United States is a Christian country, founded on Christian principles and with an expectation of Christian behavior. Let the Muslims erect their worship centers in other countries that are not Christian. Go away -- soon!"

The statement has sent ripples through the golf blogosphere. The question raised by everyone from Sports by Brooks to MSNBC.com is whether a special ambassador for the World Golf Hall of Fame should be allowed to express such an exclusionary view. Mann has since put up a privacy wall on her Facebook page.

This isn't the first time the statuesque Texan has flirted with controversy; as Sports by Brooks reports, in 2009, after then-commissioner Carolyn Bivens publicly discussed instituting mandatory English-language testing for international players on the LPGA Tour, Mann had this to say to Fox Sports in support of the fiercely opposed proposal:

"I have friends who will turn the TV off or find other things to watch if Koreans are in the lead -- a couple of weeks ago, there were seven or eight of them. (The LPGA) has to protect the business of the future and the television package ... so I think it is terrific."

Wei contacted World Golf Hall of Fame COO Jack Peter for a comment on Mann's statement on muslims, and he said, "It's Carol's personal website, so we're not going to comment."

--Stina Sternberg