Groups come out against LPGA's English proficiency

The fallout begins for the LPGA, which announced via Golfweek that it would require all of its athletes to be proficient in English by...

The fallout begins for the LPGA, which announced via Golfweek that it would require all of its athletes to be proficient in English by 2009 or face suspension.

At least five organizations and public figures issued statements about the policy, calling on sponsors to withdraw support and the tour to end the policy, which they say is discriminatory. Forty-five tour golfers are South Korean and claims have been raised that the LPGA is targeting Asian players.

The Asian American Justice Center statement encourages current LPGA sponsors to withdraw support, stating in a news release that the "policy is tantamount to national origin discrimination."

California State Assemblymember Mike Eng issued a statement about a letter he wrote to the LPGA expressing his disappointment about the "discriminatory policy," as did the Japanese American Citizens League and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. The Korean American Coalition, Los Angeles chapter, says the policy targets South Korean players.

Libba Galloway, deputy commissioner of the LPGA, told the International Herald Tribune that: "We live in a sports-entertainment environment ... For an athlete to be successful today in the sports entertainment world we live in, they need to be great performers on and off the course, and being able to communicate effectively with sponsors and fans is a big part of this."

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