Meet “Golf Cart Gail”, the Ponte Vedro, #Florida soccer mom who called the cops on a black father for speaking to his son during a soccer game. This story is dubbed #SoccerWhileBlack.
A field Marshall at a youth soccer game called St. Johns County sheriff’s deputies on a man who claimed he was yelling at his son and not the referee. The father told the officers in recorded video, “They had a bad call with my son and … I said, ‘Hey, the ref was right.’ She thought I was yelling at the ref. So, she came over and I was like, ‘No ma’am, I was yelling at my son. Nobody else.’”
The father told deputies the field marshal called the police even after he offered to leave the game to avoid any trouble. The field marshal told deputies she called #911 after the father “got nasty with me,” according to the video.
A witness, Ginger Williams, recorded and posted the encounter on Facebook and voiced her frustration on why the police were called on the father in the first place. She told ABC News, “All he did was tell his kid that the ref was correct and cheered him on, and told him to ‘play your game.’”
Williams said she decided to intervene and record the encounter after she heard the field marshal tell the father, “I no longer feel safe due to your threatening behavior.”
She said herself and other parents spoke to the deputies because “we wanted to make sure the police knew what really happened.”
In the recorded video, one of the deputies noticed Williams filming the encounter and Williams, who is white, responded, “I just want to make sure this man is safe, period. I don’t understand why this woman felt the need to call the police on this man.”
Gary Easom, president of the Ponte Vedra Athletic Association, told WJXX-TV that the incident “has been mischaracterized on social media and is more about parents behaving badly while watching their child play soccer.” He stated a father had already been ejected from a game for verbal abuse of high school aged referees and that a mother was scolded for using profanity in the stands. He said parents are not supposed to approach their children during games.