A Pennsylvania golf club has apologized for calling the cops on a group of Black women after the club’s co-owner and his father accused them of playing too slowly.
In an interview with the York Daily Record, Sandra Thompson said she and four friends met up at the Grandview Golf Club on Saturday for a round of golf. Their game took a turn at the second hole, however, when Steve Chronister, whose son Jordan Chronsiter, co-owns the club, came over twice to complain that they weren’t keeping up with the pace of play.
Thompson, who heads the New York chapter of the NAACP, said this was untrue. Even after they were assured by Grandview golf pro that their pace of play was fine, the ladies chose to skip ahead to the third hole to avoid any other issues. In golfing, it’s customary for slow-moving players to allow the group behind them to play if there’s a holdup. Plus, golf clubs often have personnel on hand to alert players when they’re moving too slowly.
Thompson maintains that this wasn’t the case.
After reaching the ninth hole, where it is customary for players to take a break before continuing the course, Thompson said Steve approached her group yet again, except this time he was accompanied by his son and several other white male employees. She noted that three of her group members were so rattled by their first encounter with Steve, a former York County Commissioner, that they left the game, leaving just two players behind.
“I felt we were discriminated against,” one of the women, Myneca Ojo, told the York Daily Record. “It was a horrific experience.”
In their second encounter, Steve reportedly complained that the women had taken too long of a break and asked them to leave the golf club. The ladies objected to this, however, noting that the group behind them was still enjoying their beer break and weren’t ready to tee off.
That’s when the women were told the cops had been called. So, Thompson and her friend waited for authorities to arrive. Officers interviewed witnesses but ultimately left without charging anyone, according to the newspaper.
Jordan Chronister’s wife and co-owner of the club, JJ Chronister, said Sunday that she has called to apologize personally for the incident, saying she hopes to meet with the women to discuss how the club can do better in the future.
” … We sincerely apologize to the women for making them feel uncomfortable here at Grandview, that is not our intention in any way,” she told the York Daily Record. “We want all of our members to feel valued and that they can come out here and have a great time, play golf and enjoy the experience.”
The AP version of #golfingwhileblack popping up repeatedly in my TL doesn’t include the latest statement from the club, which moves away from an apology and tries to justify calling the police. YDR: https://t.co/DbMysLm2EM | AP: https://t.co/jeAyjEo1Z7) pic.twitter.com/dO9vi8zzyu
— Staci D Kramer (@sdkstl) April 24, 2018
The incident comes just weeks after two Black men were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks because they hadn’t bought anything the store before sitting down.
Critics came out the woodwork to slam the Pennsylvania golf course for its actions.
Please stop calling the police on black people who are just trying to live. Please. Stop. Police shoot us for no fucking reason at all. Please. Stop. https://t.co/HOqZ6t76ca
— John Legend (@johnlegend) April 23, 2018
I cannot fathom the situation that would require that sort of response. Calling the cops?
Did a group ask to play through and the women pulled guns on them?
What the hell
— Imani Gandy (@AngryBlackLady) April 23, 2018
Can you IMAGINE the level of hubris you need to have to think that THE SPEED OF YOUR GOLF GAME is worth police attention
— Jane Coaston (@cjane87) April 23, 2018