The York, Pa., club has apologized for calling police on a group of black female golfers for allegedly playing too slowly and refusing requests to leave the course. The property owner offered to meet with the group, but one of the women, Sandra Thompson, said, “There needs to be something more substantial to understand they don’t treat people in this manner.”
Grandview Golf Club in York, Pa., has apologized for calling police on a group of black women after the co-owner and his father said they were playing too slowly and refused requests to leave the course, the Associated Press (AP) reported.
“I felt we were discriminated against,” one of the women, Myneca Ojo, told the York (Pa.) Daily Record. “It was a horrific experience.”
Sandra Thompson and four friends met up Saturday to play a round of golf at the Grandview, where they are all members. At the second hole, a white man whose son co-owns the club came up to them twice to complain that they weren’t keeping up with the pace of play. Thompson, an attorney and the head of the York chapter of the NAACP, told the Daily Record it was untrue.
On the same hole, another member of the group, Sandra Harrison, said she spoke with a Grandview golf pro, who said they were fine since they were keeping pace with the group ahead of them, the AP reported.
Despite that, the women skipped the third hole to avoid any other issues, Harrison said.
The five are part of a larger group of local women known as Sisters in the Fairway. The group has been around for at least a decade, and all of its members are experienced players who have golfed all over the county and world, the AP reported.
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, the women told the Daily Record.
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 AP reported.
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, as seen in a video Thompson gave the Daily Record. The women were told that the police had been called, and so they waited. Northern York County Regional Police arrived, conducted interviews and left without charging anyone, the AP reported.
“We were called there for an issue, the issue did not warrant any charges,” Northern York County Regional Police Chief Mark Bentzel said. “All parties left and we left as well.”
Jordan Chronister’s wife and co-owner of the club, JJ Chronister, said Sunday she called the women personally to apologize and issued the following statement:
“Yesterday at Grandview Golf Club, several of our members had an experience that does not reflect our organization’s values or our commitment to delivering a welcoming environment for everyone. We are disappointed that this situation occurred and regret that our members were made to feel uncomfortable in any way. 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. Please know that we are taking this issue very seriously and expect our own organization to meet the highest standards for service that allows for everyone to feel comfortable and welcome.”
JJ Chronister said she hopes to meet with them to discuss how the club can use what happened as a learning experience and do better in the future, the AP reported.
Thompson said she’s not sure a meeting is what needs to happen. “There needs to be something more substantial to understand they don’t treat people in this manner,” she said.
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