BEDMINSTER, N.J. – UltraViolet took its protest inside the gates of Trump National in Sunday’s final round of the U.S. Women’s Open.
Four UltraViolet protesters moved as close as they could beneath President Donald Trump’s private box shortly after he arrived at 3:15 p.m. and then removed their outer garments, revealing purple T-shirts with the words: “USGA: Dump Sexist Trump.” They formed a line and quietly stared up at the box until Trump walked to the window.
“Our goal was we wanted to be able to look him in the eye,” said Melissa Byrne, an UltraViolet coordinator. “We did that.
“Security gets concerned, so we made sure the president was safe in his box before we removed our shirts. He came over to the glass to wave to people, and he looked at us.”
Byrne made a gesture with two fingers pointing at her eyes, then pointing her fingers up at the president, as if to say: “We see you!”
UltraViolet is a group formed to fight sexism and expand women’s rights.
Security came over to check to see if the four UltraViolet members had tickets.
“We did,” Byrne said. “We bought them.”
While security loomed close, Byrne said officers were respectful and did not attempt to remove them. But she said some fans were not happy with their appearance and expressed their displeasure.
“It was mostly guys saying `He isn’t sexist’ and `Make America Great Again!’ and `Trump, Trump, Trump,’” Byrne said.
Byrne said it was important to take their message inside the gates.
“It was important for us to come inside, so the USGA, LPGA and even the PGA know the message, that by holding events at Trump courses, they are saying sexual assault is OK, that sexism is OK,” Byrne said.
Byrne also said they were intentionally quiet.
“There is a golf tournament going on, so we wanted to be respectful of that,” Byrne said.