We’ve heard of people being condemned for driving while Black, and most recently sitting while Black, but did you ever think society would punish anyone for golfing while Black? If not, there are five Pennsylvania-based women who aren’t afraid to tell their story.
This past Saturday (Apr. 21), a woman named Myneca Ojo and four of her friends hit the golf course at Grandview Golf Club in York, P.A. like any other day. The group of women who frequent the course call themselves The Sisters of the Fairway. While making their way around the course, commotion unfolded as former county commissioner and Grandview senior advisor, Steve Chronister, approached The Sisters of Fairway and asked them to leave, reports the York Daily Record. Their crime? The women were playing to slow for the expectations of other players on the course. In fact, the women were reportedly complained about not once, but twice by other players behind them.
The first complaint took place while the women teed off at the second hole. To avoid confrontation, they skipped the third hole to keep things moving along. But then it happened again while they were teeing up at the ninth whole — and this is when Chronister and his son, club co-owner Jordan Chronister, and a few other white male employees approached the women and asked them to leave.
Two of Ojo’s party left after the original encounter, and the second encounter displayed an overwhelming show of force.
A golf club in Pennsylvania 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. https://t.co/lZXmAZAj53
Video: Myneca Ojo #SistersontheFairway pic.twitter.com/26CxgK0TX2
— KTVU (@KTVU) April 24, 2018
KTVU posted a clip of some the events that transpired that day.
This scenario is disturbing for several reasons: 1) It illustrates that force (and much more force) is used unnecessarily when dealing with people of color. 2) It reiterates the mentality that you can’t truly be free and Black in America. And 3) It shows that people of color can’t engage in everyday activities like sitting in a Starbucks, eating at a Waffle House or simply enjoying an afternoon of golf.
Police Chief Mark Bentzel gave the The Associated Press this statement.
“We were called there for an issue. The issue did not warrant any charges… All parties left and we left as well.”
Steve Chronister’s daughter, JJ Chronister, who is also a co-owner of the club, also released a statement on behalf of the club.
“We sincerely apologize to the women for making them feel uncomfortable here at Grandview. That is not our intention in any way. We want all of our members to feel valued [and] that they can come out here and have a great time. We’re sincerely apologetic to our five members that were here yesterday when the situation occurred.”
“I have personally contacted all five of the women … I spoke to them individually and really gave our sincerest apology and have welcomed them back to Grandview. We have asked that all five women sit down with me to go over exactly what happened so we can understand … their perception of what happened.”
Though the owners of the club have apologized for the incident, and asked to sit down with Ojo and the four other members, they have not chosen to do so at this time. As always, Trevor Noah of The Daily Show had his own hilarious yet poignant take on the situation as well as race relations in America.
"White people call the police like they're asking for the manager."
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) April 25, 2018