LPGA commissioner Charles Mechem Jr. said Saturday that charges of lesbianism hampering the success of the women’s tour are “absurd and ugly.”
Mechem’s comments were in response to reported remarks by CBS golf analyst Ben Wright, who was quoted as saying “lesbians in the sport hurt women’s golf.”
“I’m sad because the charge is demonstrably untrue and I’m angry because it’s an unfair attack - a cheap shot - at a group of talented professional women,” Mechem said.
Wright denied making the statement, reported in The News Journal of Wilmington. CBS supported the announcer and kept him in the broadcast booth Saturday during the third round of the LPGA Championship.
During the broadcast, Wright read a statement denying that he made negative comments about women’s golf.
“Much has been said and written about disparaging comments attributed to me which are not only totally inaccurate but extremely distasteful,” Wright said.
“It is a pity these remarks have detracted from the focus of the McDonald’s LPGA Championship … “
Mechem didn’t call for Wright’s ouster, saying he didn’t know if the analyst actually made the remarks.
“Quite obviously, if he made the remarks attributed to him, it’s inappropriate for him to broadcast an LPGA event,” Mechem said. “If he did not make the alleged remarks - as he stoutly maintains - then it would be terribly unfair and prematurely judgmental for us to insist that he be replaced.”
Wright was also quoted as saying women don’t play as well as men because their “boobs” hamper their backswing. He denied saying that, too, insisting he was merely relating a story by Hall of Famer JoAnne Carner.
Wright issued a terse denial that he ever made derogatory statements about the tour.
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