*In 2018, a group of Black women at a Pennsylvania golf course had the police called on them because they were allegedly playing too slow.
Fast forward to 2020, and two of the five women have filed a gender and racial discrimination lawsuit against the course and several employees involved.
Myneca Ojo and Karen Crosby filed a racial and gender discrimination lawsuit on Monday against Brew Vino LLC, which owns Grandview Golf Course. The lawsuit alleges that an owner told a member of their group that they weren’t keeping pace and treated them differently than other players on the course, who the lawsuit says were Caucasian and male.
An investigation by the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission found that the women had probable cause that they were “profiled, harassed, evicted and subjected to different terms and conditions of service because of their protected classes,” and granted them the right to sue, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit seeks a jury trial, compensation and punitive damages but does not list a specific amount, the report states.
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Two African American women who allege that management at a Pennsylvania golf course mistreated them when they called police because they were playing too slow have now filed a lawsuit claiming racial and gender discrimination. https://t.co/IsQqeQN0L6
— CNN (@CNN) April 23, 2020
“It’s hard to put a value on someone’s civil rights. It’s not just about money,” said their attorney Ian Bryson, “but about vindication of civil rights.”
The pair’s attorneys say Brew Vino LLC, and several of its employees “conspired together” for the purpose of “intimidating these African American women in order to keep these African American women from enjoying the full benefits of their Grandview Golf Course memberships and to discourage African Americans from playing golf” there.
Crosby told CNN Wednesday she is “relieved and happy” by the suit.
“Feels like we will have some sort of closure to this situation,” Crosby said. Since the incident, the women have stopped golfing because they “didn’t feel comfortable doing it.”
“This is a small area and there was a lot attention brought to it, we just didn’t feel comfortable doing it,” she said. “Hopefully this year we will be able to play again once this dies down. We’d like to.”
According to the New York Daily News, club representatives initially apologized to the women, but also confirmed that they asked them to leave because of their pace and extended break.
“In this instance, the members refused to leave so we called police to ensure an amicable result,” club officials said in a statement at the time. “During the second conversation we asked members to leave as per our policy noted on the scorecard, voices escalated, and police were called to ensure an amicable resolution,” the statement reads.
No charges were filed, but the club has since been by shrouded by accusations of racism and sexism.