An American golf club has found itself at the centre of a racism storm after calling the police on a group of black women who allegedly refused a request to vacate the premises after being accused of playing too slowly.
The Associated Press is reporting that five African-American women - Sandra Thompson, Myneca Ojo and Sandra Harrison, as well as Carolyn Dow and Karen Crosby - were asked to leave Grandview Golf Course in Pennsylvania on Saturday after twice being told they weren’t keeping up with the pace of play, an accusation they have refuted.
According to Thompson, a lawyer and local representative for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the father of the club’s co-owner approached the women on the second hole and told them they weren’t keeping up with the pace of play.
Despite being assured by the club’s head professional that they were fine, the group skipped the third hole to avoid any further issues.
However, that was only the beginning. This from the AP report:
After the ninth hole, where it is customary to take a break before continuing on the next nine holes, three of the group decided to leave because they were so shaken up by the earlier treatment.
Thompson said the man from the second hole, identified as former York County Commissioner Steve Chronister, his son, club co-owner Jordan Chronister and several other white, male employees approached the remaining two women and said they took too long of a break and they needed to leave the course.
The women argued they took an appropriate break, and that the men behind them were still on their beer break and not ready to tee off.
The police were subsequently called but left without any charges being brought.
All five women are members of the club and are also involved with a long-established local group called ‘Sisters in the Fairway’.
“I felt we were discriminated against,” one of the women, Myneca Ojo, told the York Daily Record. “It was a horrific experience.”
Jordan Chronister’s wife J.J. has reportedly personally apologised to the women for the incident and intends to arrange a meeting to clear the air. Thompson, however, believes that’s not enough.
“There needs to be something more substantial to understand they don’t treat people in this manner,” she said.