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Napa Valley Wine Train Apologizes To Black Women's Book Club Booted From Train

NAPA (CBS13) - Executives of the Napa Valley Wine Train have apologized to members of a book club that were kicked off its train recently for laughing too loudly. The group said they were kicked off because of their race.

The 11-member book club, composed almost entirely of African-American women, was told to leave the train Saturday mid-trip after several passengers complained about how loud the women were being.

"We didn't do anything wrong," club member Lisa Johnson, told KTVU Monday. "We still feel this is about race. We were singled out."

One member of the group is 83.

News of the incident spread quickly and drew harsh criticism of the company after Lisa Johnson, a leader of the Sistas on the Reading Edge Book Club, told her story on social media. Many tweeted about the incident using the hashtag #LaughingWhileBlack

"The Napa Valley Wine Train was 100 percent wrong in its handling of this issue," said wine train chief executive officer Anthony "Tony" Giaccio. "We accept full responsibility for our failures and for the chain of events that led to this regrettable treatment of our guests."

Giacco says he contacted Johnson on Monday and issued an apology and extended an invitation to Johnson, her friends and family to come on a complementary tour in their own train car.

The company also promised additional training for employees on cultural diversity and sensitivity, and offered the group free passes for 50 people for a future trip.

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