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May 16, 2003

Driving Logic

If Anika Sorenstam doesn't doesn't finish dead last at the Colonial next week, a number of people are going to be upset. There's the sexist Vijay Singh, of course, the man who thinks "PGA" stands for "Male Professional Golfer's Association." Note the "Male". If there was a masculine equivalent of the LPGA, it would be the GPGA, and Singh by his actions has already shown he wouldn't qualify for that tour. Singh* claims to care about the quality of the competition, but somehow I think his protests wouldn't be quite as voluble if Sorenstam's exemption had been given to a male duffer who will finish 40 shots off the pace on Sunday.

But Vijay isn't the only one. Martha Burk, of all people, doesn't approve.

"But in the broader sense, I am not an advocate of integrating sports. It would destroy women's sports. What's the point of putting women at a natural disadvantage? We're not idiots, we know there are physical differences between men and women."

It's a stupid argument from a nationally known stupid person, and Orlando sports columnist Mike Bianchi does himself a great disservice by buying it hook line and sinker. Odds are Anika can't beat Tiger Woods. Sadly, odds are that she can't even beat Vijay Singh, who deserves a good thrashing at the hands of a woman. But the odds are great that she can beat a number of PGA tour members, and if she beats just one come the Colonial, then she'll have made an excellent argument that women belong on the PGA tour, as she'll have been demonstrably better than at least one male member of that tour.

If the top five players on the LPGA are better than the bottom five players on the PGA, the the women belong in the PGA and the men don't. Including them will make the tour more competitive, not less, even if they never win tournament one. It's simple logic. Come Sunday at the Colonial, let's hope Sorenstam teaches a lesson in it.

*Singh's is an interesting attitude, given what appears to be his Sikh roots. He was born in Lautoka, Fiji, a stronghold for Sikhs in that country, and has the typical last name of followers of that religion. The official Sikh position on the women's equality is that rights are not gender specific, that God created men and women equal to one another

"In a woman man is conceived,
From a woman he is born,
With a woman he is betrothed and married,
With a woman he contracts friendship.
Why denounce her, the one from whom even kings are born ?
From a woman a woman is born,
None may exist without a woman."

I haven't seen Vijay playing in a turban, the wearing of which is required by followers of that religion, so apparently Mr. Singh is now apostate. It's too bad; the PGA could use a bit of color, and Vijay would be well served by a bit more wisdom.

Update: No doubt feeling somewhat chastened by our editorial voice, Vijay has commenced a frantic backpedaling.

Posted by Bigwig at May 16, 2003 11:33 AM | TrackBack
Postscript:
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