Golfer Paige Spiranac reveals she had death threats and was blackmailed – as she denied being a glamorous ‘gimmick’. The American has 1.2million Instagram followers and believes she is treated unfairly for being a woman who dresses differently in a sport dominated by middle-aged men.
She told The Guardian: “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 whilst I was trying to play.”
She added: “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?”
Spiranac added: “The people who are saying golf is progressive, if you look at them they all look the same.
“They are all middle-aged men. They obviously feel accepted.
“When you go to a golf course and look around, you see a bunch of guys, everyone looks like you so you are going to feel great.
“If you are walking in as a woman, you don’t feel the same.”