On today’s episode of America, Season 2018, we have the following Associated Press headline out of Pennsylvania: “Golf club apologizes for calling cops on black women members.” Oh?
Indeed, according to the AP, on Saturday five black women were enjoying a round of golf at the Grandview Golf Club in York, Pennsylvania, where they are all members. Unfortunately, the white man behind them—who happened to be the father of one of the club’s co-owners—thought they were playing a tad too leisurely, and he, his son, and a number of white male employees told the women to leave. Eventually, the police were called, though they left without charging anyone.
Sandra Thompson, one of the women in the group and an attorney who heads the York chapter of the NAACP, detailed the incident in a Facebook post. She alleged that the group, comprised of seasoned golf players familiar with the game’s etiquette and rules, had been repeatedly harassed by former York County Commissioner Steve Chronister, whose son, Jordan Chronister, is one of the club’s co-owners.
Thompson said Chronister started trying to get her group out starting at Hole 2. “They wanted us off the course, offering to refund our money. They didn’t want us as members offering to refund our membership,” Thompson wrote. She said that her group was moving along the course in a timely fashion and that they were not holding up Chronister’s game.
After Thompson and her group took a break after the 9th hole, which is customary in golf, she says both Chronisters and the rest of their group approached them, even though they too were taking a break:
Our group was distraught at the accusations and continued wrongful treatment, so 3 stopped play after we finished the front 9, about 1pm. With 5 people, we finished the 1st 9 in about 2 hours even with disruptions.
We took a break, they left, and us remaining 2 went to resume play at Hole 10. The group behind us just arrived, so we waved them on to play before us. However, they told us to go, because their group members wanted a beer break. (In the video you can see them later returning with their drinks and food. It is not about them. They lodged no complaints. The guy in hat confirmed we maintained the pace of play even with 5.)
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 also took video:
The club then called the police. The women waited until they arrived, then left. “I felt we were discriminated against,” Myneca Ojo, who was with the group, told the York Daily Record. “It was a horrific experience.”
JJ Chronister, who is married to Jordan Chronister and also co-owns the club, personally called the women to apologize, and emailed a statement to the York Daily Record to affirm said apology. “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 newspaper. “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.”
Thompson said that while JJ Chronister assured her she and the rest of her group were welcome to stay on at the club as members, she’s not so sure if she wants to. “It’s a tricky situation because I don’t like giving my money to people who don’t want me,” she told the York Daily Record. “But I don’t want to give them the benefit of success ... to have reduced the number of African-Americans ... to have reduced the number of women on their golf course.”
Jezebel reached out to the club for comment and will update when we hear back.