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LPGA English-Only Policy: Here Come the Lawyas

Illustration for article titled LPGA English-Only Policy: Here Come the Lawyas

As if public displeasure were not strong enough against the LPGA's proposed English-only policy, now lawyers have arrived on the scene to pronounce the policy potentially illegal. Really? Potentially illegal. Every lawyer loves this legal analysis. Everything is potentially illegal. The answer to every legal question is, "That depends." Except for what's the age of consent in Nebraska? Which of course is, can she operate a corn thresher? There are two primary avenues of legal assault to the LPGA's new policy, first: does the policy violate the civil rights laws of the LPGA's home state—Florida; second: what does English proficiency mean as applied? It sounds simple but one test probably doesn't adequately demonstrate English proficiency. Will there be different standards for different ages? Different countries? Effectively what the LPGA is doing by implementing this policy is buying a lawsuit. Because it will be challenged and it will take forever to wind through the court system. The players who are challenging the ruling will probably receive an injunction which allows them to continue on tour until the policy runs the course in the legal system. After every court ruling the same headlines will recur, the same issues will be discussed, and the same bad publicity will ensue. Eventually, after six or seven years, the LPGA's policy will be deemed legal or illegal. (See Martin, Casey). Is this contentious path really worth it to the LPGA? Predictably, the LPGA is already backpedaling from their public relations mess. Noting that their attorney's vetted the proposal before it was announced. Which is always the refuge of the idiots. Because the LPGA's policy may very well be legal. The LPGA's true issue isn't with the legality of the proposed policy, but with the public reaction to that policy. Just because something is legal doesn't mean it's smart. Otherwise every Mississippian would get married when they were 14. Personally, I'm just hoping that overseas basketball teams are going to require their players to be fluent in the native language as well. Who wouldn't pay to see Shawn Kemp take a test in Italian? Or English for that matter. LPGA's English Requirement Spurs Calls For Possible Legal Action [Sports Business Daily]


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