Black soccer dad fights back tears as he speaks about ‘Golf cart Gail’ calling police on him
Gerald Jones believes he ‘absolutely’ deserves an apology after an overzealous white woman in Ponte Vedra, Florida called the police on him just because he yelled at his 13-year-old son while he was playing soccer.
During an interview with ‘WJXX-TV Jones was visibly distraught and on the verge of tears while talking about the shocking incident that took place Sunday.
The woman who has now been dubbed “Golf cart Gail” claimed to authorities that she no longer felt safe due to the Black father’s “threatening behavior” after he told his 13-year-old biracial son to respect the referee’s decision.
Jones said within moments of him teaching his son about good sportsmanship he was unexpectedly confronted by a field marshal who was riding in a golf cart.
“Then she went, ‘I am going to call the police,'” he said.
The woman went through on her threat and when St. Johns County Deputies showed up, he told them what happened. Eye witness Maria Walther was sitting next to Jones when things escalated.
“He was pretty much telling her ‘leave me alone, I am leaving I am grabbing my stuff,'” said Walther, “but that wasn’t enough for her.”
“She was barking at him, ‘You can’t be yelling at the ref,'” Walther continued. “And he said ‘Ma’am, I am talking to my son,’ and she said, ‘I don’t care who you are talking to.'”
Another woman who was at the game started recording video of the incident and uploaded it to Facebook.
“A parent at my son’s soccer game had the police called on him for cheering for his son during the game,” posted Ginger Galore Williams, with the header “Soccer While Black,” the NY Post reports.
Jones told the Jacksonville news outlet that although he got let off without arrest, the sobering realization of how badly things could have gone, is jarring.
“Anything could have escalated – me going to jail, my kid seeing me like that,” Jones said during the interview. “I’m working hard every day. Do everything right. Love everybody.”
Florida white Women! Stop ruining everyone's fun with your needless and petty bigotry!
"Golf cart Gail" was out of her mind and could have gotten this gentleman in trouble and/or killed. https://t.co/GnIjKFGEzz
— Lady Farmer 👒😷 (@djmincey11) October 17, 2018
Gary Easom, President of the Ponte Vedra Athletic Association, said in a statement:
“The Ponte Vedra Palm Valley Athletic Association puts the welfare of children above all else. The PVAA Code of Conduct protects children in a number of ways, including the prohibition of inappropriate conduct such as berating referees, coaches or athletes, and “coaching” children from the sidelines.
Unfortunately, parents sometimes violate the conduct code while watching games. When such violations occur, our staff addresses the violator or violators and ask that they behave appropriately. If, after warnings, the violators continue to behave badly, staff is left with no choice but to call law enforcement, consistent with county policy. That is an extreme circumstance which seldom occurs, but that is exactly what happened in this situation.
The authorities were not called solely for this particular incident but as a result of a culmination of several immediate prior incidents. The field marshal acted appropriately and without malice to ensure the welfare of the children she is charged with protecting. Unfortunately, an incomplete narrative of this incident was posted and sensationalized, creating a wholly inaccurate and irresponsible version with little relation to what actually happened that day. It was an unfortunate incident and I am sorry it happened, but our team acted appropriately to protect the children, consistent with our organizational mission.”