Aug
25
2009
Why People Should Stop Criticizing Christina Kim’s Behavior
By Stephanie Wei under General

Apparently a number of people thought Christina Kim’s unbridled enthusiasm was out of line at the Solheim Cup.

Simple response to the detractors: Get over it and loosen the $%&! up.

The Solheim Cup was the most entertaining women’s golf tournament I’ve ever watched. I have non-golf fan friends who tuned in for the first time and really enjoyed it, largely because they got a kick out of Christina’s so-called antics. They thought she was the most interesting person out there.

She also played well. Her record was 3-1-0. There goes the argument that her behavior was a distraction to her game and wasted valuable energy.

Would the naysayers prefer to watch a bunch of emotionless golfers? Oh, I almost forgot. Those would be the Asians that people like to blame. I’m confused — first, players are attacked for not expressing enough emotion and now, it’s too much.

Look, it was a team event, which doesn’t necessarily call for the same type of etiquette. The Solheim matches are unique and warrant similar reactions. As head cheerleader, she rallied her teammates — many of whom followed her example (to a lesser degree). As Ryan Ballengee over at Waggle Room pointed out, who do you think inspired Michelle Wie to come out of her shell? (Don’t forget when Christina was mic’d at the LPGA Championship and the two played together — we caught a glimpse of Michelle’s great personality back then.)

Not to mention Christina fired up the crowd and boosted the fan experience. Did you hear the roars? They were likely the loudest at a women’s golf tournament…ever. It felt like a “real” sporting event where the players get the fans pumped up on home turf. So what if she over-celebrated at times? That’s why it’s called “home field advantage.” Plus, it’s not like she asked for the crowd to heckle the European ladies and yell in the middle of their backswings.

The rewards heavily outweigh any drawback. Christina’s animated behavior showed that there are fun personalities on the LPGA. For non-fans, she demonstrated golf isn’t so boring after all. In fact, she probably turned tons of people on to women’s golf.

Point being, it’s been an uphill battle for the Tour this year — dropped sponsors, lost tournaments and the Carolyn Bivens debacle. After all that, people want to criticize Christina for something that is positive for women’s golf? The attention she brings is GOOD attention. If anything, we should be thanking her.

So, take a chill pill and complain about something that’s actually important. Here’s a novel idea: Devote time to coming up with ways to fix a real problem, like the LPGA’s dwindling tournament schedule.

[Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images]