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  • "There needs to be something more substantial to understand they don’t treat people in this manner," Sandra Thompson told the AP. | Photo: Screenshot

Published 24 April 2018

"I said, 'Do you realize we're the only black women on this course, and you're only coming up to us? One of the women told the York Daily Record.

 

A Golf course in Pennsylvania called the cops on a group of five Black women who alleged that the women were playing too slowly and didn't leave the course when asked. 

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Sandra Thompson, an attorney and the head of the York chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, NAACP, along with her four friends, went to play a round of golf Saturday at the Grandview Golf Club when the incident happened, The Associated Press, AP reported. 

"I felt we were discriminated against," one of the women, Myneca Ojo, told the York Daily Record. "It was a horrific experience." 

Northern York County Regional Police arrived, conducted interviews and left without charging anyone. 

“We were called there for an issue, the issue did not warrant any charges,” Northern York County Regional Police Chief Mark Bentzel told AP. “All parties left and we left as well.”

The news comes nearly 10 days after a video of two Black men at a Starbucks cafe in Philadelphia being handcuffed by nearly half a dozen policemen for waiting for a friend, went viral, drawing widespread condemnation.

After completing their second hole, Ojo and another woman in the group, Karen Crosby, were approached by a white male, Steve Chronister, who introduced himself as the owner of the club, said the women needed "to keep up the pace of play." 

The group skipped the third hole, arrived at the fourth hole behind a group that had not yet teed off, Thompson said, the Chicago Tribune reported. "He was extremely hostile," Ojo told the York Daily Record.  

According to the Chicago Tribune, JJ Chronister, the club's co-owner, said Steve, her father-in-law, wasn't an owner of the club but only an advisor. Thompson said Chronister told them, "you're going too slow, I'll give you a refund," suggesting he didn't want the women as members. 

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"I said, 'Do you realize we're the only black women on this course, and you're only coming up to us? We paid, we want to play.' He walked off in a huff," Thompson told the York Daily Record.

The five women are part of a larger group, Sisters in the Fairway, a golfers' group which has been around for nearly a decade. Thompson noted the group's members are experienced players who have golfed all over the country and world and they are very familiar with golf etiquette. 

The group joined the club last year as part of a three-year promotion. The owners have apologized to the group for "making them feel uncomfortable" but in a statement released Monday, the Club defended its stance. 

In the past, "players who have not followed the rules, specifically pace of play, have voluntarily left at our request as our scorecard states. In this instance, the members refused to leave so we called police to ensure an amicable result. ... During the second conversation, we asked members to leave as per our policy noted on the scorecard, voices escalated, and the police were called to ensure an amicable resolution," the statement noted. 

Another woman in the group, Sandra Harrison spoke with a course golf pro who told her the women were keeping up a fine pace, according to the Chicago Tribune. "There needs to be something more substantial to understand they don’t treat people in this manner," Thompson told the AP.

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