A group of Black women is suing a Pennsylvania golf club for racial and gender discrimination two years after management there called the police on them for supposedly playing too slowly.
The incident occurred on April 21, 2018, at the Grandview Golf Course in Dover Township.
Myneca Ojo and Karen Crosby, two of the women in the group, filed a lawsuit against Brew Vino LLC, the Grandview’s parent company, on Monday, according to CNN. Ojo and Crosby were two holes into their golf round with their friends Carolyn Dow, Sandra Harrison, and Sandra Thompson when they were approached by Steve Chronister. Chronister, who claimed to be the owner of the club, chided the women for moving too slowly and potentially causing a delay for other groups. He also offered to refund money they spent on golf carts and club memberships.
Thompson told Chronister their pace was reasonable, and he was being discriminatory. Chronister called the police, but when an officer showed up he told her not to approach the women because they had proceeded to another hole. After completing nine holes, Down, Harrison and Thompson left the course because of their experience with Chronister. Ojo and Crosby decided to finish their 18-hole round.
The pair arrived at their 10th hole at the same time as another group, who allowed the ladies to go first since they were about to take a break. As Ojo and Crosby began to play, Jordan Chronister appeared and told them they could not “cut people off.” Jordan Chronister is co-owner of the facility and son of Steve Chronister, who is merely an adviser, according to The York Daily Record.
Thompson and Jerry Higgins, a golfer from the other group, tried to explain the situation to Jordan but the situation escalated into an argument. Part of the conflict was filmed by Ojo.
Higgins later testified on the women’s behalf during a June 2018 Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission hearing. He allegedly heard an employee say, “somebody’s gotta get down there and speed these ladies up.” Higgins, a white man, denied the women were playing slowly.
“I hadn’t waited to hit a shot all day,” he recalled. The commission later would issue a finding that the women had a probable cause for their grievance against the club.
The Chronisters, along with two employees, were listed as defendants in the lawsuit. Ojo and Crosby accused them conspiracy to violate constitutional rights, breach of contract and intentional infliction of emotional distress. A day later, Harrison and Dow filed a similar lawsuit. Thompson, who is president of the York NAACP, started a case with the York County Court of Common Pleas, but there has been no official filing. Ojo wants to prevent other people from having similar experiences, and Crosby hopes to close this chapter in her life.
“When this man saw us, he saw two things: He saw us being African-American, and he saw us being an all women group being on the golf course,” Ojo told The York Daily Record. “I don’t want anyone else to have that feeling that they are unwelcome any place in this country.”
“We’re ready to bring this to some sort of closure. It’s been going on for two years, and it has greatly impacted our lives in many ways,” Crosby said. “We’re just looking to move forward and go back to some sort of normalcy for our everyday lives.”