Wednesday, August 27, 2008

LPGA forces players to learn English

At first I thought, how could they do this? How could a league,
in this case, the Ladies Professional Golf Association force its members to speak English? Not P.C at first glance. If Nascar did this, they would be considered rednecks and racists. If the NHL made it mandatory for their mostly European and Quebec players to speak English, everyone outside the provinces of Don Cherry would riot. What would happen if Major League Baseball enforced this rule? Half of the league is made up of Hispanics.

How about this scenario? Let's say Tiger Woods couldn't speak english? Would he have to learn? Absolutely. He put golf on the map for his great talent and the fact he's a great ambassodor and able to sell the game internationally. Everyone can understand him. No one cared about golf before Woods made it mainstream. Can you imagine selling the game of golf if he couldn't speak the language? How can you market any sport without it's top player not being able to sell it in the english language? This is not a diss towards foreign players but this is why no one cares about the LPGA. I mean, who are the athletes and who cares about them outside of a few hardcore enthusiasts. If they can't speak the language, how can they sell the sport? Who cares about Cycling now that Lance Armstrong retired? No one. Can you imagine him having to sell that sport if he only spoke a foreign language? No one would care because no one would be able to understand him.
The bottom line is, if you are paid to play sports at a professional level, you need to help the hand that feeds you sell the sport. If you can't speak to fans, can't do commercials in English, how can anyone understand what you're saying and buy into the sport you are playing? (Especially if the sport is already a tough sell)

The LPGA is helping its players learn the language. It's free, there's no real time limit but there is zero tolerance towards players unwilling to learn.

When I travelled abroad, albeit for a few weeks at a time, I loved learning a new language. It makes no sense to me as to why anyone wouldn't want to learn english. I mean even dictators and tyrants learned it to better sell their fascist views. How boring and ineffective would it be for these rulers to sell their message if they couldn't tell their enemies where to go in a language they understood?


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