|OCA CRITICIZES LPGA’S DECISION TO REQUIRE PLAYERS TO SPEAK ENGLISHFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
28 August 2008
Sarah Smith | Communications Manager
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OCA CRITICIZES LPGA’S DECISION TO REQUIRE PLAYERS TO SPEAK ENGLISH
WASHINGTON DC — OCA, a national organization serving the Asian Pacific American (APA) community, criticizes the Ladies Professional Golf Association’s (LPGA) decision to require all players to pass an English language proficiency exam or receive suspension.
"One does not need to speak English in order to play professional sports in this country,” said OCA National President Ginny Gong. "We play sports to unify groups, not to divide. This would suggest that someone like Lance Armstrong needs to be proficient in French in order to participate in the Tour de France.”
The LPGA proposed the policy which requires all participating golf players with at least two years seniority to be proficient in English starting in 2009. Players from countries outside of the United States have been leading tournaments in recent years, with golfers from Mexico, Taiwan and Korea winning the last five major championships.
Many in the APA community feel that forcing senior players to speak English during tournaments promotes intolerance, particularly given the discriminatory treatment of female players on golf courses in the past.
"It is outrageous that the LPGA would consider a decision that prohibits certain players from the chance to compete knowing all the struggles women have gone through in order to be recognized as equals in the sport,” said Michael Lin, executive director of OCA National Center.
Founded in 1973 as the Organization of Chinese Americans, OCA is a national organization dedicated to the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans in the United States.