LPGA Tour To Suspend Players Who Don’t Learn English

You don’t hear something like this everyday in the sports world. The LPGA has announced that it will require its member golfers to learn and speak English and will suspend their membership if they don’t comply.

From ESPN:

The new requirement, first reported by Golfweek on its Web site, was communicated to the tour’s growing South Korean membership in a mandatory meeting at the Safeway Classic in Portland, Ore., on Aug. 20. Connie Wilson, the LPGA’s vice president of communications, confirmed the new policy to ESPN.com.

“Why now? Athletes now have more responsibilities and we want to help their professional development,” deputy commissioner Libba Galloway told The Associated Press. “There are more fans, more media and more sponsors. We want to help our athletes as best we can succeed off the golf course as well as on it.”

Players were told by LPGA commissioner Carolyn Bivens that by the end of 2009, all players who have been on the tour for two years must pass an oral evaluation of their English skills or face a membership suspension. A written explanation of the policy was not given to players, according to the report.

I’m surprised that they can legally do this but we’ll have to see what becomes of this. Thoughts?

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