Today, the LPGA repealed its policy that would have required its golfers to speak English.
LPGA tour commissioner, Carolyn Bivens, said,
"After hearing the concerns, we believe there are other ways to achieve our shared objective of supporting and enhancing the business opportunities for every tour player."
Translation--The LPGA's sponsors didn't like it. Apparantly, the LPGA also felt pressure from a California Senator. ESPN.com reported,
"State Sen. Leland Yee, a Democrat from San Francisco, had asked the Legislature's legal office to determine whether the English policy violated state or federal anti-discrimination laws. If it was deemed legal, Yee said he would have pushed for legislation banning such policies in California."
You don't want to piss off government in a state where your tour holds 3 events.
This strategy has completely backfired for the LPGA. And, for what? Apparantly only 5-7 Korean golfers did not possess the English proficiency the LPGA was striving for. While they try to salvage relationships with sponsors, they will also have to find a new marketing strategy. Any ideas? Meet tour professional Natalie Gulbis...
LPGA won't suspend players over English-speaking requirement [ESPN.com]