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Golfer Paige Spiranac says she’s received death threats over appearance

Professional golfer Paige Spiranac recently stated that she’s received death threats and been subjected to blackmail over her appearance. The 24-year-old golfer also railed against the criticism that she’s a “gimmick” because she’s attractive and perhaps does not quite fit the preconceived notion of how a golfer should dress or look.

Spiranac has not necessarily enjoyed the best professional career, having a ranking outside the top 1,000 women golfers. She is tremendously popular on social media and boasts over 1.2 million followers on Instagram, where she posts photos and videos of herself in what her critics say are too provocative.

And those critics evidently have been especially vicious on social media.

“I was harassed, my family was harassed. I was receiving death threats, people were invading my privacy, I was being blackmailed. This was going on while I was trying to play,” Spiranac recently told The Guardian. “When it comes to the golf industry, I know that people see me as a gimmick. I don’t think I am. If I was a guy and I had the same social following, I don’t think people would call it a gimmick. They’d say it was great. People seem to think I got where I am because of the clothes that I wear. That’s unfair to me and unfair to all of my accomplishments. I probably do more community service than any other professional golfer.

“For people to say: ‘You only show some cleavage, that’s why you have what you have,’ is unfair. That’s the injustice that we face every day as women and I see it a lot in golf. It’s such a male-dominated sport, it has been around for so long and there are traditions. People like their traditions without change.

“When someone comes in wearing leggings instead of trousers, it is like the world is ending. I have always had a different fashion style. I always felt like I never belonged and it is tough because I am a good player, I know what to do but I still don’t like going to new clubs because I am worried someone will say my skirt is too short or I don’t have a collar. Why does that even matter?”

Interestingly, Spiranac was one of the many vocal critics of a widely panned change to the LPGA dress code last year. That aside, Spiranac obviously does not deserve such horrible treatment simply because she doesn’t fit the profile of a stereotypical female golfer.

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