How do you say “discriminate” in Korean?

No, the Chinese basketball team didn’t win a medal at the Olympic Games, but Yao Ming still has one thing to be thankful for: at least he’s not a female golfer.

Chien-Ming Wang should be grateful, too. Same goes for Alexander Ovechkin, Dice-K Matsuzaka and every other foreign athlete whose God-given talent—and not their mother tongue—earned them a spot in the big leagues of North America. Because if Yao and the boys were teeing it up on the ladies’ tour, they’d have a lot more to study than the greens.

According to a jaw-dropping report on Golfweek’s website, the LPGA is ordering its international players to brush up on their English skills—or else. Beginning next year, every woman who has been on tour for two seasons will face an automatic suspension unless they pass a mandatory language exam. Rookies will be tested before they even hit the driving range. “Athletes now have more responsibilities and we want to help their professional development,” says deputy commissioner Libba Galloway. “There are more fans, more media and more sponsors.”

Libba and her cohorts are still working on the content of the test, but Maclean’s has obtained a draft version.

Question #1: Can you pronounce discrimination?

Question #2: Do you know anyone else named Libba?

Don’t stop there, LPGA. Why not introduce a weekly weigh-in, just to make sure the gals don’t lose their sponsor-approved figures? How about a topless back nine? Or an all-white Major Championship?

At last count, the tour has 121 international players from 26 countries, including 45 South Koreans, the fastest-growing contingent on the circuit. Se Ri Pak, probably the best of the bunch, said she understands the rationale behind the “more English” policy, but says players who fail should be fined, not suspended.

Here’s another suggestion, Ms. Pak. When it’s your turn to take the exam, answer each question in a language everyone understands.




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How do you say “discriminate” in Korean?

  1. Golf, as well as any other sport, is a game of skill not language. People watch sports for the skills exhibited by an athlete.

  2. “People watch sports for the skills exhibited by an athlete.”

    That’s patently untrue—arguably in women’s sports in general, but certainly in golf. Lorena Ochoa topped last year’s LPGA money list at $4.4 million. That’s more than Jim Furyk made, for heaven’s sake. Suzann Pettersen was second at $1.8, which would have been good for 46th on the men’s tour, between Stuart Appleby and Trevor Immelman. Ochoa’s and Pettersen’s skills, while significant, are not comparable.

  3. I’m not entirely well versed in the victim vernacular, but if one was to make an inference, as Michael does in the blog’s title, wouldn’t it be more appropriate to title it How do you say “racism” in Korean?

    Afterall, the LPGA is an entirely separate entitly than the PGA, with its own rules, female President etc. So, how can one play the “discrimination” card effectively on this issue? I don’t see it.

    To me it’s no different than the unwritten rule that the coach of the Montreal Canadiens has to speak french, although I suppose, one could argue that it is discrimination also as there has never been a female coach in the club’s history.

    Do please elaborate. It seems to me that the reason for the rule is because an increasing number of the players don’t speak the language of choice. Or is discrimination considered a catch-all charge, not just limited to sex? The blog suggests it is a male/female issue.

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