SPORTS ILLUSTRATED displayed little respect for women and none at all for the LPGA in its April 8 issue. At first glance it appeared that SI was going to take a serious look at the first major of the year, the Kraft Nabisco Championship, but following a thoughtful six-page story about Annika Sorenstam's second consecutive title and her lucky red shoes, SI went from reporting on sports to making a spectacle of a gathering of gay women in Palm Springs, Calif. What, exactly, was the point of this leering four-page pictorial? If 30,000 United Auto Workers had been at the Houston Open, would SI have reported on their parties and tried to invent a relationship with the tournament? I don't think so. Yet SI seems to be fascinated with the party scene in Palm Springs, as this is the second time in five years that the magazine has tried to correlate it with women's pro golf.
Yes, the LPGA has gay fans, but so, too, do the NBA, the NFL, Major League Baseball and the PGA Tour. We are glad to have them as fans. Believe it or not, there are also heterosexual males and females who appreciate the skill and talent of our players, as well as their personalities. We would love for SI to report on that—the game and the personalities involved in it.
Unfortunately, SI never seems to take the LPGA seriously. Why has it been almost 25 years since one of our players ( Nancy Lopez in 1978) was featured on the cover? And why did Annika's historic 59 at last year's Standard Register Ping get only a short two-page story in GOLF PLUS and a one-sentence blurb in the national edition? It's about time for SI to get with the program and show some respect for an association that has been successful for more than 50 years. Save your sexist pictures of girls in bikinis for the swimsuit issue.