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Last week Hank Haney, on his SiriusXM satellite radio show, opined on the US Women’s Open, which took place this weekend, by saying as follows:
Co-host: “This week is the 74th US Women’s Open, Hank.”
Haney: “Oh it is? I’m gonna predict a Korean.”
Co-host, laughing: “OK, that’s a pretty safe bet.”
Haney: “I couldn’t name you six players on the LPGA Tour. Maybe I could. Well (He then named Michelle Wie, and pointed out she was injured, and Lexi Thompson) I’d go with Lee. If I didn’t have to name a first name, I’d get a bunch of them right.”
Co-host: “We’ve got six Lees.”
Outrage poured forth from the perpetually outraged pearl clutchers among us in sports media. How dare Haney make these comments, they shrieked as they fell, aghast with outrage, onto their fainting couches?
Except, the South Koreans do dominate the LPGA.
If Haney had said when told the Boston Marathon was going to take place that weekend, “I’ll take a Kenyan to win,” would anyone have been outraged? Or if he’d said of the US Spelling Bee, which also took place last weekend, “I’ll take an Indian to win,” would anyone have been upset? Kenyan marathoners and Indian spellers both dominate their respective competitions. As do South Korean golfers in the US Women’s Open, where South Koreans have won eight of the past 12 opens.
In fact, on Sunday, one of the Lees, Jeongeun Lee6 as she’s known on the tour, yes, that’s a number after her name, won this year’s tournament.
Lee6 is known as Lee6 because, and I’m not making this up, there are six golfers on the LPGA tour named Jeongeun Lee.
Yes, all six have the exact same first and last name.
Can you imagine if there were six Phil Mickelson’s on the PGA Tour? Would it be remotely racist for someone to say, “I’ll take one of the Americans to win. Give me one of the Mickelson’s to win the US Open.”
Of course not.
It’s not racist to note the success of a particular group of people in a sport, particularly when it’s connected to the country they’re from. If anything, it’s a compliment.
If someone doing sports radio in Brazil was told the Winter Olympics were beginning and was asked to predict who would win in snowboarding and he responded, “I’ll take one of the Americans,” — we’ve won every medal in snowboarding so far — would anyone demand his job, especially if the Americans winning many of the gold medals shared a common name?
It’s just absurd.
In fact, it’s high time we start turning the mob away from the targets they attempt to attack and ridicule the erstwhile leaders of the perpetually outraged brigade.
Consider, USA Today, one of the three largest newspapers in America, published an opinion piece from Christine Brennan demanding that Hank Haney be fired from his job and never allowed to golf on any golf course in the world after these comments.
Seriously, Brennan wrote this.
“If Haney is not fired from that job (and his co-host with him) and every other role he plays in golf and the news media by dinnertime Wednesday, 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.”
Is this real life?
How does Haney’s race get brought into the equation here? If the same comment had been made by an Asian, Hispanic or black man would Brennan have cited his race in conjunction with his comments?
Of course not.
So isn’t this racist of her? She’s judging Haney in a pejorative manner based on his race, which is, you know, racism.
What’s more, Brennan wanted Haney and his co-host both fired from every role they have in golf for this? For one of them correctly predicting who would win the tournament in a lighthearted manner?
So what if Haney isn’t much of a fan of the LPGA?
It’s not sexist to prefer men’s sports over women’s sports.
Many sports fans, both men and women, prefer men’s sports over women’s sports because male athletes are bigger, stronger and faster than their female counterparts. If this upsets you, blame biology.
Or demand that women’s tees be removed from the golf course and play golf the exact same way as men.
Like many of you, I’m an NBA fan, but I’m not a fan of the WNBA at all. In fact, I can barely name you six WNBA players. But if I knew the best WNBA players were from Croatia and I was asked on radio who I thought would win the WNBA MVP, laughed, and said I was taking a Croatian to win, would that be sexist, racist, and xenophobic?
Of course not.
This entire uproar is absurd.
But that isn’t even all of it.
Not content with merely calling for his job, Brennan also demanded that Haney be banned from every golf course in the world:
“If there’s any golf club in the country (let’s make it the world) that allows Haney to set foot on its property after that despicable exchange, that club is telling every girl and woman and person of color to go play any one of the dozens of other sports they can play for life, not golf.”
She really wrote this.
She is demanding that armed guards prevent Haney from playing golf anywhere in the world.
Do they have editors at USA Today? Evidently not. Because if they did surely at least one person might think it was worth pointing out that Brennan wasn’t just demanding that Hank Haney be fired from his job — which was ridiculous enough — she was also demanding that he never be allowed to set foot on a golf course anywhere in the world again.
I mean, this is absolutely insane.
The nation’s third largest newspaper is calling for a golf opinionist to be banned from every golf course in the world because they didn’t like what he said about the game of golf?
The only people who could possibly have read this column and been impressed were the North Koreans, since what Brennan was advocating here was a totalitarian golf dictatorship.
Maybe Kim Jung Il will offer her a job at the Pyeongchang Gazette, where she can write about the dear leader’s rounds of golf, the ones where he gets a hole in one on every hole.
All this because Haney has the gall to let us know that he doesn’t care that much about the LPGA.
So what? Haney’s like most American sports fans.
The NBA and the PGA outrate the WNBA and the LPGA by about 50-1.
And do you know who most of the fans of women’s sports are?
Plus, do you know who else isn’t much of a fan of the LPGA? Christine Brennan. According to her story archive page she hasn’t written a single article about LPGA golfers this entire year.
Meanwhile she’s written dozens of articles and columns about the PGA Tour. And you know who almost all of those columns are about? American men.
Seems pretty sexist and xenophobic of Christine Brennan to only be writing about the male golfers on tour.
In fact, by her own standards, given her fixation on American men and exclusion of women golfers, why should any golf course in the world even let her set foot on the course?
I offered to let Brennan come on my radio show and defend her insane opinion on Haney this morning, but you’ll never guess what she’d already done on Twitter:
Welp, that was predictable. Amazing how quickly people run and hide when you call them on their bullshit. Open invite on @outkick for @cbrennansports to make her case for why @hankhaney should be fired & banned from every golf course in America for correctly predicting a champ. pic.twitter.com/lXiUF8CG0B
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) June 3, 2019
I can’t believe I have to say this, but what Haney said wasn’t remotely racist or sexist or xenophobic. He just pointed out that he didn’t have much interest in the LPGA — an opinion that Brennan seems to share since she hasn’t written about the LPGA all year in her column — and picked one of a series of golfers, a South Korean, who have dominated the LPGA tour of late, to win the tournament.
And then he was right!
Yet it somehow cost him his job.
You’d think that SiriusXM, the company that pays Howard Stern a hundred million dollars a year despite all the people he has perpetually offended throughout his career, would be above allowing losers like Christine Brennan to impact their programming decisions, but you’d be wrong.
Rather than stand up to an online mob representing a tiny segment of the population — the vast majority of American sports fans weren’t remotely offended by this — the PGA Tour and SiriusXM capitulated to the losers and suspended Haney.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) June 3, 2019
Even wilder, so many members of the sports media are terrified of the online mob that I’m the only person I’ve seen on the Internet defending Haney at all.
It’s seriously insane.
Indeed, the most incredible irony here is that after the result of the US Women’s Open if anyone is owed an apology, it’s Haney.
He actually picked the winner, something the majority of LPGA commentators couldn’t do.
Maybe instead of trying to take his job, they should give him another one — lead analyst for the U.S. Women’s Open.