In yet another incident reminiscent of the viral Starbucks arrest of two African-American men, a white golf club in Pennsylvania called the police on five black women who were all members there. Their crime: some white folks at the club thought the women were taking too long to play.
Sandra Thompson, an attorney who heads the York chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), met up with her friends to play a round of golf at the Grandview Golf Club, according to the Associated Press. However, what was supposed to be a fun morning took a drastic turn after club’s white owner allegedly asked the group to leave and even offered them a refund of their membership before getting the authorities involved.
“We, the only all African American group and the only all women golf group on the Grandview Golf Club’s course, were discriminated against, refused the benefits of our membership, were told to vacate the premises, and had the police called on us,” Thompson wrote on Facebook. “We have played golf for years on many courses across York County and other counties. Some have played on courses nationally and internationally. We know golf etiquette and rules.”
The 50-year-old explained how she and her friends are well-acquainted with the sport and know its etiquettes fairly well. However, when they reached the second hole, a white man identified as former York County, PA Commissioner Steve Chronister allegedly approached the group and began harassing them for playing too slowly – twice.
In her social media post, Thompson said he identified himself as the owner of the club and spoke on its behalf – even though his son, Jordan Chronister, is actually the club’s co-owner.
Moreover, as the attorney pointed out to the York Daily Record, their group was definitely not holding up other players as one of her friends Sandra Harrison reportedly spoke with another golfer who informed them their pace was indeed fine.
In order to avoid any more issues, the women skipped the third hole. But, things got uglier when they took a customary break after the ninth hole.
“As the 2 of us went to tee off while the other group took their break, Steve Chronister approached us then for the third time, but with 3-4 other men, one of whom was later identified as Jordan Chronister. They now accused us of taking too long of a break and said they wanted us off their premises. As paid members who were not holding up play, we did question why,” Thompson continued. “They said the police were already called, so we waited. The police arrived. The Chronisters repeated that they wanted us off their premises and wanted to refund our memberships, including the 3 who left.”
According to the report, the group behind Thompson’s was still on their beer break and not waiting on them to resume their play.
She added the police officers were respectful towards their group. As the Associated Press reported, Northern York County Regional Police left the premise without charging anyone.
“We were called there for an issue, the issue did not warrant any charges,” said Police Chief Mark Bentzel said. “All parties left and we left as well.”
Meanwhile, since Steve Chronister reportedly didn’t have time to comment on the matter, his wife and club co-owner, JJ Chronister, has apologized to the women.
“We sincerely apologize to the women for making them feel uncomfortable here at Grandview, that is not our intention in any way,” she said. “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.”
However, Thompson believes more needs to be done to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again
“There needs to be something more substantial to understand they don’t treat people in this manner,” she said.
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