Hank Haney Apologizes For Comments About LPGA Players
Golf instructor and radio personality Hank Haney "apologized for insensitive comments" he made about LPGA players during his SiriusXM radio show, according to Mark Schlabach of ESPN.com. Asked yesterday about the 74th U.S. Women's Open being played this week, Haney "joked that he was going to predict that a Korean would win and added that he couldn't name six players" on the LPGA, "except for those with the last name Lee." Haney's comments were "quickly criticized on social media," including in a pair of tweets from golfer Michelle Wie. She tweeted, "Racism and sexism are no laughing matter Hank....shame on you. I don't ever do this, but this must be called out." Shortly after Wie criticized Haney, he "issued an apology on Twitter." LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan said the tour "won't get sidetracked by individuals that simply don't get it" (ESPN.com, 5/29). Golfer Stacy Lewis said, "I’ve never seen Hank Haney at an LPGA event, so I don’t know how he could make those comments" (Charleston POST & COURIER, 5/30).
SEEKING REPERCUSSIONS: USA TODAY's Christine Brennan writes if Haney is "not fired" from his radio job and "every other role he plays in golf and the news media ... then the leadership of the game, the PGA Tour and SiriusXM is condoning racism, sexism and xenophobia while basically telling everyone who isn’t a white male that golf is not the sport for them." This "wasn’t just any old interview with a local station." This was said on the PGA Tour’s "flagship SiriusXM show" (USA TODAY, 5/30). Golfer Karrie Webb tweeted if the PGA Tour is "truly serious about supporting" the LPGA, Haney and his co-host Steve Johnson "won't have a voice anymore" (TWITTER.com, 5/29).
THE REAL ISSUE? MORNINGREAD.com's Alex Miceli writes though Haney’s comments were "racist and sexist, that fact doesn’t necessarily mean that he is a racist or sexist." It does, however, "highlight issues with how women often are perceived in the U.S., and to a lesser extent how women’s professional golf is viewed, especially by men." Miceli: "Let’s see what Haney will do beyond his apology to support women’s golf. Then, maybe we can find a silver lining for what has been a gray day for women’s golf" (MORNINGREAD.com, 5/30).