Friday, August 29, 2008

LPGA and the English language

There is a very interesting and disturbing post over at Public Reason, dealing with a new English language requirement for LPGA players.

The demand that players speak English is wrong for a variety of reasons, I think, but it also uncovers something interesting for philosophers of sport. How important is it that a sport be entertaining? And why should the external goods of sponsorship and money determine who can participate in elite sport, regardless of their level of talent?


Carl Thomen said...

Even though I find this announcement outrageous and am offended by the thinly-veiled corporate agenda, I don’t think it is necessarily racist, and I am not at all surprised by it. I am inclined to agree with one of the comments after the piece, to the effect that this is just a way to ensure more lucrative sponsorships etc and therefore more money for the LPGA. There might be racist undertones, but this is first and foremost sport as business – hence my lack of surprise. Where money is concerned, human nature is to milk as much of it as is possible. The real job is to get people to realize that after a certain point (and I don’t know where that point is) professional sport isn’t sport anymore. It’s just a way to make cash, just another reality series, and a series which won’t get cancelled through lack of interest. Sport is probably the most sustainable (entertainment) investment at the moment. Just ask Roman, Phil, Thaksin and the rest of them. Wow. That sucks actually.

Mike Austin said...

Now it looks as if the LPGA is reversing course:,28136,1839072,00.html