A Pennsylvania Golf Club Called Police Officers On 5 Black Women ... For Playing Golf
According to a York Daily Record report on Tuesday, a Pennsylvania golf club called the police on five black women for, well, playing golf. One of the members of the group described the experience as "horrific." In a statement later, the club's co-owner apologized for the "disappointing" situation.
The alleged incident took place in York County of Pennsylvania where Sandra Thompson, Myneca Ojo, Sandra Harrison, Carolyn Dow, and Karen Crosby gathered to play golf at the Grandview Golf Club in Dover Township on Saturday. The women told York Daily Record that the tension first began when they were allegedly told by previous York County Commissioner Steve Chronister that they were playing too slowly. (According to the women, Chronister told them that he owned the golf club.) The group told the newspaper that their pace was normal. Bustle has reached out to Chronister for comment.
The group, which calls itself the Sisters in the Fairway, said that they were made "uncomfortable" by Chronister's alleged message. "I felt we were discriminated against," Ojo told York Daily Record on Sunday. "It was a horrific experience."
On the same day, the group claimed they were told that they had taken a long break between their first and second sessions. At this point, the women said they were told to leave the golf course premises and were informed that their membership fee would be reimbursed to them. Right after that, they said, the police was called.
Yet the Northern York County Regional Police said that no charges were filed against the women. While speaking with the Associated Press, Chief of the Northern York County Regional Police Mark Bentzel said, "No result on our end, no action." He added, "We were called there for an issue. The issue did not warrant any charges. All parties left, and we left as well."
According to AP, Harrison from the group said that she checked with another Grandview golf member if the group was actually playing slowly. The golf member told Harrison that the women were playing at a normal pace. But the women said that they were so disturbed by the "hostility" of the management that they decided to ditch the third hole in order to curb any kind of altercation.
Chronister's wife and co-owner of the Grandview golf club, J.J. Chronister told the York Daily Record that she called the women on Sunday in order to say sorry. "We are disappointed that this situation occurred and regret that our members were made to feel uncomfortable in any way," her official statement said.
She added, "We have reached out to the members who shared their concerns to meet in-person, to fully understand what happened so that we can ensure it never happens again. Our team is very sorry for any interaction that may have made any member feel uncomfortable."
Wrapping up her statement, the Grandview co-owner said that the management expects "our own organization to meet the highest standards for service that allows for everyone to feel comfortable and welcome."
In spite of the golf club's official statement and professed intention to meet in order to supposedly improve relations, Sisters in the Fairway seems to be skeptic. Ojo, who oversees diversity initiatives at the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, told York Daily Record, "No, there's no new development; we'll let [J.J. Chronister] know." She added, "We just haven't figured out the time, the approach ... it does need to come to some conclusion."
Echoing Ojo's sentiment, Thompson told AP that she was not certain if a meeting would necessarily rectify what took place. "There needs to be something more substantial to understand they don't treat people in this manner," Thompson said.
The Grandview report may remind some observers of an incident that took place at a Philadelphia Starbucks in April when two black men were arrested for, well, simply sitting in the cafe. Although Starbucks has since apologized to the two men, observers have raised their concerns about the subject of being black and in public.