Golfing While Black: Club Calls Police on Women for ‘Playing Too Slowly’

By Kenrya Rankin Apr 24, 2018

Add the Grandview Golf Club in York, Pennsylvania, to the already massively long list of places where being Black is treated as a crime.

In an article yesterday (April 23), The Associated Press reported that the club co-owner and his father called the police on a group of Black women for “playing too slowly.” The women—Karen Crosby, Carolyn Dow, Sandra Harrison, Myneca Ojo and Sandra Thompson—are all members at the club and also belong to a group of experienced golfers called Sisters in the Fairway. They told local paper York Daily Record that on Saturday (April 21), Steve Chronister, whose son and daughter-in-law own the course, approached them twice on the second hole to complain that they were not keeping up with the pace of play.

Thompson, an attorney who runs the local chapter of the NAACP, said that his complaint was unwarranted, and when Harrison spoke with the club golf pro, he confirmed that they were keeping pace with the group playing ahead of them. But the group still chose to skip the third hole in hopes of avoiding future interactions with Chronister. During the customary break after the ninth hole, three members of the group left, upset about the way they had been treated. It was during that break that Chronister, his son Jordan Chronister and several other White men told the remaining Black women that they were taking too long of a break and had to leave. When they were told that the police had been called to intervene, the women opted to wait for them to arrive.

York Daily Record reports that Northern York County Regional Police Chief Mark Bentzel said no charges were filed because they were not necessary. “No result on our end, no action,” Bentzel said. “We were called there for an issue. The issue did not warrant any charges. All parties left and we left as well.”

“I felt we were discriminated against,” Ojo told the York Daily Record. “It was a horrific experience.”

Co-owner JJ Chonister told the press that she wants to meet with the women so “we can understand their perception of what happened.” Thompson said they need to do more than just talk, and suggested anti-bias training. “There needs to be something more substantial to understand they don’t treat people in this manner,” she said.