Editors' Blog
September 09, 2008

LPGA English Policy: The final word?

Larry Underkoffler of Kennesaw, Georgia, may have provided the final word on the LPGA English-language controversy:

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This policy was a classic bone-head decision often attributed to WASP males. When Ms. Bivens recanted, it became a classic back-pedal of major proportions. To read her explanation, "that it was in the best interests of the players and their future earning potentials," only further heightened the idiocy of the policy. If the players want to improve their earnings and believe English is the route to that success, then that is a personal choice they must make. The LPGA's (read: Bivens') decision was self-serving and rather demeaning in this day and age.

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If it becomes a problem that investors or participants refuse to pony up an exorbitant fee to play in a pro-am with non-English speakers, then change the rates to accommodate participation if one desires an English-speaking player. When the players see that more appearance fees come their way by speaking English, they might be inclined to learn the language. Otherwise, spare us the obfuscation. Most of the foreign players earn quite a bit in their home countries and probably don't care about the endorsement earnings here in the US. And, they let their play do the talking for them. This fiasco deserves to be right there in the bone-head hall of fame with Jimmy the Greek, Al Campanis, et al.

Larry: WASP males? It seems very unfair to drag WASP males into this. Until your letter, it looked like one controversy we'd dodged altogether....

--Bob Carney