INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Phil Rossman plays golf at Smock Golf Course nearly five days a week. Over the weekend, the Vietnam veteran saw something during his regular round that goes against everything he stands for in life.
“I guess I was a bit shocked to see it in the middle of a golf course," Rossman said. "But not surprised to see it in society in general.”
Rossman snapped a few pictures that show a racial slur, along with a swastika carved into the 8th hole green, the most recent in a number of swastikas found in Indiana in the past few months.
"It's not the physical damage that was done, it’s the psychological damage,” Rossman said. "Anybody that's willing to do such a thing directed at people who may be different than they are, it just bubbles up nothing more, nothing less really, than disgust.”
Ronetta Spalding, a spokesperson for Indy Parks, released a statement saying:
“As Indy Parks welcomes 8.3 million people annually, our team is committed to keeping our parks and park spaces open to everyone. We work every day to ensure our customers feel comfortable in our parks and take pride in knowing our staff values the people we serve. We will not accept any action or activity that goes against welcoming people into our parks and will continue working closely with our park rangers and partners at IMPD to ensure the safety and security of all of our guests.”
In light of what happened in Pittsburgh last weekend, Rossman believes these incidents should not be taken lightly.
"There’s a cause and effect relationship to all this stuff," Rossman said. "If we have people out there doing this, what’s the next step they go to?”
Regardless of the vandals’ intention, Rossman says the hate needs to stop.
“If they found out it was a few kids just dinkin' around because of stuff they saw on TV, it doesn't take away from the fact that it’s still wrong,” Rossman said.
The words have since been covered up with sand, and the golf course will have to make repairs to the green to remove the words.
Spalding says IMPD is aware of the incident.
Anyone with information about the incident at Smock Golf Course is encouraged to call 311 or (317) 327-3811.