PHOENIX (CN) – A man says Phoenix Country Club expelled him for objecting to its policy that bars women from the grill. Russell Brown, an attorney, says that after he expressed his views to other members, to the Arizona Women Lawyer’s Association and The New York Times, the country club retaliated by expelling him and refusing to pay for the value of his membership.
Brown spoke at the Arizona Women’s Lawyers Association monthly luncheon about men’s grills and had previously notified William Maledon, then-Phoenix Country Club Board president, about his anticipated comments.
Brown claims that Maledon did not warn him about speaking on the topic. Brown also commented to a New York Times reporter on the issue, and was quoted as saying, “Most men are indifferent to the policy or are against it.”
According to the Superior Court lawsuit, the country club board of directors attempted to intimidate Brown and any members who disagreed with “PCC’s policy of excluding women from the Men’s Grill.” Brown claims this included amendments to the country club’s etiquette policy that state that a member may be suspended or expelled for making derogatory comments to the media.
Brown received a letter expelling him from the country club due to multiple violations of its etiquette policy, for his contact with the Arizona Women’s Lawyers Association and The New York Times, but he says the “real reason he was expelled from membership was in retaliation for expressing his views against PCC’s discriminatory policy towards women.” He was not given the opportunity to defend himself in front of board members before his expulsion.
He is represented by David J. Bodney and Peter S. Kozinets with Steptoe & Johnson in Phoenix.