Posted By P & L Blog


The LPGA now offers mobile language labs for players who want to improve their language skills.  This is a notable change from the tour's position two years ago when it proposed penalizing or even suspending players who did not speak English fluently. The sessions are optional, and players pay the $40 hourly fee out of their own pockets.

Read more about this language initiative here.




Posted By P & L Blog

Esteban BellanEsteban Bellan


The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York has opened a permanent exhibit that recognizes the impact of Latin American players on baseball.  The exhibit focuses on the traditions of five countries: Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela.

¡Viva Baseball! features almost 150 artifacts including a ball used in an 1871 game played by Esteban Bellan (Cuba), the first Latin American to play in the major leagues, one of Puerto Rican Hall of Fame member Roberto Clemente's jerseys, and equipment from current players David Ortiz (Dominican Republic), Johan Santana (Venezuela), and Albert Pujols (Dominican Republic).

According to the Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson, "Over the last 30 years, perhaps nothing has impacted baseball more than the rise of the Latino star and the number of Latino players making important contributions to the game every day."

Posted By P & L Blog

The LPGA recently announced that players with two years' experience on the Tour will be required to pass an oral test of their English skills at the end of the 2009 season.   The rule goes into effect immediately for new members.  Players who do not pass will be suspended temporarily from the Tour.


The LPGA says this policy is needed so that players can interact with corporate sponsors, Pro-Am partners and the media in order to promote the foreign players to the American public.   The LPGA should focus on feeding the pipeline with talented young American players rather than penalizing players who have earned their spot on the tour because they are great golfers.  Language skills have nothing to do with success in sports.


Many players and sports columnists believe the policy unfairly targets the Korean contingent which has 45 players on the Tour.   In all, there are 121 international players representing 26 countries, including the #1 ranked woman in the world, Lorena Ochoa.

Should Yao Ming have been suspended by the NBA for not speaking English when he started playing in the U.S.?  Did Jorge Posada deserve to play for the Yankees before he improved his rudimentary English skills?  With these rules, would Rafael Nadal be the top-ranked men's tennis player today, or would he still be volleying with his uncle in Mallorca?


Does language play a role in sports?




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