Speak English Or You Can’t Play!!!!

By Gary Norris Gray
Updated: September 2, 2008

CALIFORNIA — The recent ruling by the LPGA is surprising and very confusing. Upon inquiry into this issue, a variety of different answers were given by LPGA officials. One official stated that the English proficiency test was a world tour issue.

Another official stated that it wasn’t a world tour issue. A third official stated that she was not sure how this rule would work. So, if the LPGA does not know, how will golfers and the American public know?

This decision also conveys to the world that it’s a mandate aimed at one segment of the LPGA membership. The obvious intent is to limit or eliminate these non-English speaking female golfer’s participation in future tournaments with this simple rule.

As a disabled American, this is a very sensitive area for me. Especially regarding rules without consultation or representation. Forcing people to do something without asking or going through proper communication channels first is not professional.

The LPGA is a professional organization, so why impose a ruling like this? This recent request seems heavy-handed and thoughtless. Taking away an international golfers playing card or suspending them because that player does not meet the English standards? How ludicrous.

Whose standards are theses? Mine or yours? Ours could and will be different than the LPGA’s. That’s the problem with rulings like this. They are always done arbitrary and are culturally biased.

This is a troubling issue for any disabled American. 30 years ago, many in the disabled community were forced to do things that they did not want to do. These actions were rarely gave any benefit to the disabled community.

These actions were taken because it was a state mandate. This writer still has to deal with some of the issues that were forced on my family, my disabled friends, and the disabled community.

This recent LPGA ruling is all for the sake of capitalism, profit, and big business (i.e., corporate sponsors). This ruling specifically targets Asian players and it should be addressed by the LPGA.

Many Asian professional golfers probably feel the same way we disabled Americans felt 30 years ago. Also, players may fear the loss of their playing card or being suspended if they voice their oppostition.

They are the new silent minority.

Undoubltedly international players should learn English, but the LPGA has no right to force this issue down their throats without an explanation. If these golfers want to maintain their international standing they are going to have to learn English anyway.

So, this point becomes void and mute.

The LPGA needs to inform the public as well as the Asian professional golfer how this ruling came into existence and why or how it will be used in the future.

This recent ruling is pro-white, pro-American, pro-British, and anti-Asian. This is not good for the world of international golf. This ruling helps sponsors obtain popular players. It is a known fact that English and American sponsors exploit these players in America and Great Britain.

The LPGA is trying to anglosize Asian female golfers and trying to sexualize them just as the western world has done in the past. The long standing feud between western female golfers and Asian female golfers continues with this ruling and it needs to stop.

This is a world commmunity organization and should start acting like it. This ruling is also self-centered and selfish. It’s the current 8,000-pound elephant in the LPGA’s room and another example of American weight being thrown around.

America and its corporate sponsors cannot continue with business as usual, getting its way despite the consequences, or whom it hurts. This kind of behavior is not only troubling, but needs to change. The LPGA has a lot of explaining to do.

Let’s get this rule either modified or eliminated.

It is not fair to the international players of the great game of golf.