Grandview Golf Club: Women sound off to state lawmakers

Written by Geoff Morrow/The York Daily Record | Jun 6, 2018 6:36 AM

The five black women who allege racial and gender discrimination visited Sen. Vincent Hughes, D-Philadelphia/Montgomery, on Tuesday, June 5, 2018, to discuss the April incident at Grandview Golf Club in Dover Township. The women, seated from left to right, include Karen Crosby, Sandra Thompson, Sandra Harrison and Carolyn Dow, plus Myneca Ojo (standing in salmon-colored jacket). (Photo: Courtesy of Sen. Hughes' office)

(Harrisburg) -- State Sen. Vincent Hughes, D-Philadelphia/Montgomery County, was among the first to reach out to the five black women who were asked to leave Grandview Golf Club in April.

On Tuesday in his Harrisburg office, Hughes hosted the same five women in an effort to better learn their story from that incident on April 21 in which Northern York County Regional Police were twice called because of alleged slow play.

"We wanted to make sure their issue was not forgotten, that their voice was heard and continues to be heard," Hughes said during the meeting with media, state senators and representatives, and, of course, golfers Sandra Thompson, 50, president of the York branch of the NAACP; Myneca Ojo, 56; Carolyn Dow, 56; Karen Crosby, 58; and Sandra Harrison, 59.

The women allege racial and gender discrimination from the Dover Township golf course after they were asked by Grandview management to leave.

Steve Chronister, a former York County president commissioner whose family owns the course, twice called police, claiming the five women were holding up other golfers with slow play.

The women are regular golfers, part of a group started in 2008 called "Sisters in the Fairway" that plays courses around the world.

Ojo said at Tuesday's meeting that while they've played Grandview before, this was the first time playing under the current ownership.

The women had previously stated they were granted permission to play as a five-some (when foursomes are generally the norm). They've disagreed with the assertion they were playing slowly, and the group behind them backed up their side of the story.

"Getting the state's support for incidents of being black and living and having police called on us, we are thankful for the many representatives and senators who came to hear our story," Thompson said Tuesday.

In addition to Hughes and Sen. Art Haywood, D-Philadelphia/Montgomery, among others, Thompson credited Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, D-York, as one of the few York County politicians to quickly reach out in support of the women.

"It really just goes to prove how dialed-in to the community the person who committed the offense toward us is," Crosby added, "that people from York County were not willing to come out and speak against [Chronister]. And I believe it's because of his ties to the community.

"The support we've received from York has been minimal."

In addition to a visit with Hill-Evans, the women cited a phone call from former Rep. Kevin Schreiber, D-York, as well as support from Gov. Tom Wolf, a York County native, but little else from their home county.

"From a broader perspective, this stuff has to stop," Hughes said Tuesday. "These are human beings. These are women. They need people to stand for them, stand with them, embrace them, and that's what we tried to do. We wanted other legislators, house members, senators, to hear their story from them directly, so that's why they're here in Harrisburg today."

Asked Ojo: "Is there something the legislature can do to assist people like us [so that] we're not treated differently when we try to pursue our happiness or pursue any other recreational or casual activity?"

"It was productive, I think," Hughes' press secretary, Wesley Robinson, said of Tuesday's meeting. "They talked about what they went through, detailed their experience. They talked to legislators about what could be done, bias training, anti-discrimination training, things they can put in place."

Robinson said more than a dozen politicians attended the meeting.

This story comes to us through a partnership between WITF and The York Daily Record

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