The man who called police on a group of black women golfers accused of playing too slowly at a Pennsylvania golf club last month has denied that he was acting out of racism.
The women, who are part of a group called Sisters in the Fairway, met to play a round at the Grandview Golf Club where they’re all members. At the second hole, the group was approached by one of the white owners, Steve Chronister, who told them they weren’t keeping up with the pace of play and holding up others.
“I felt we were discriminated against,” Myneca Ojo, one of the ladies, said. “It was a horrific experience.”
“He said, ‘You’re going too slow, I’ll give you a refund,’ as if he didn’t want us as members,” Sandra Thompson, a lawyer and head of York County’s NAACP local chapter said. “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.”
Chronister went on to call the police. According to the York Daily Record, he told the 911 dispatcher that the women were “holding everybody up” and one of the women accused the golf club of racism.
“We have a tough situation here with a group of golfers that decides they don’t want to abide by the rules, ” he said
Asked if the golfers had any weapons, Chronister said that no weapons were involved “other than her mouth.”
Chronister also told the 911 dispatcher that he knew of Thompson.
“She ran for judge. She’s an attorney. She knows it all,” Chronister said. “She totally thinks we’re being racist. We’re not being racist. We’re being golf course management that has to have play moving a certain way.”
But Thompson says that Chronister clearly racially profiled her group.
“He saw a group of black women and told them to get off the course,” she said. “He racially profiled us. Would he have called the cops on a white group of golfers? Would he have done that to a white lawyer and judge candidate he knew? No.”
The club has since issued an apology, but Thompson suggested the staff undergo diversity training.
“There needs to be something more substantial to understand they don’t treat people in this manner,” she said.