BEDMINSTER, N.J. – Ticket-buying protesters made their way inside the gates of Trump National Golf Club on Sunday during the final round of the U.S. Women’s Open, including one silent demonstration that took place after President Trump entered his private box.
Three women and one man representing UltraViolet, a national women’s advocacy group, stood to the side of Trump’s box that faces the 15th green. As soon as Trump walked into his box at 3:12 p.m., they took off their outer shirts and revealed purple T-shirts that read, “USGA: Dump Sexist Trump” in white lettering.
Shortly after entering his box, Trump walked to the two sides that are opened to the outside but protected by tinted, bulletproof glass, and waved to the fans who were waving to him, a group that included the protesters.
“He saw us, No. 45 saw us,” said Melissa Byrne, a spokeswoman for UltraViolet who is from Philadelphia. “He saw we were out there. I could tell by the way they looked at us and started talking that they all saw us.”
The protesters stood shoulder to shoulder, still and silent, while spectators and media gathered around them.
“It was great,” Byrne said. “Our shirts are our message. We want the USGA to dump sexist Trump because women, and men, deserve to make sure that they are safe, and that sexual predators are not considered ambassadors of sports.
There was no way of immediately knowing if Trump had seen the protesters. But on Sunday morning, he tweeted a reaction to Saturday’s protests between supporters and non-supporters that took place outside the gates at a local library.
“Thank you to all the supporters, who far outnumbered the protesters, yesterday at the Women’s U.S. Open. Very cool!” he wrote.
Trump was sitting in his box for the third consecutive day. Asked if he would be part of the trophy ceremony at the end of the tournament, a U.S. Golf Association spokeswoman replied, “Not to my knowledge.” She said Eric Trump, the president’s son, would represent the club.
Earlier, before Trump took his place in his box, two more protests were held inside the gates. A group of about 15 people, many holding pink umbrellas, stood in an area near Trump’s box to offer “an expression of support for women,” according to Jim Girvan, a local organizer.
“There are many equality issues that they’re facing with the Trump administration and with the Republican Congress that we are very concerned about, things like pay parity, comprehensive health care, workplace equality,” said Girvan, who represented “We the People, NJ7.”
Later, another group of seven women revealed T-shirts, spelling out “Resist” at one point and “Sister” at another. On the backs, their message was “This is not normal” while they held up copies of the U.S. Constitution.
Byrne of UltraViolet said that “someone from the organization” bought the tickets for the protesters. She did not know the cost, but the USGA web site showed the cheapest ticket for admission on Sunday cost $45.
“It’s not ideal but it’s more important that we have him see us,” she said.