The Ralph Lauren Corporation cancelled its sponsorship of Justin Thomas over his use of a homophobic slur. The former World Number One golfer called a golf ball a ‘fa__ot’ during a tournament in Hawaii.
Television microphones picked up Justin Thomas muttering the slur after he missed a par putt.
Thomas apologised for the slur during an on-air interview immediately after the round.
The Ralph Lauren Corporation acknowledged the apology but nevertheless discontinued their sponsorship of the player.
“While we acknowledge that he has apologized and recognizes the severity of his words, he is a paid ambassador of our brand and his actions conflict with the inclusive culture that we strive to uphold.”
Now the world’s third-ranked golfer, Justin Thomas told the Golf Channel, “There’s no excuse.
Justin Thomas ‘extremely embarrassed’
“I’m an adult. I’m a grown man. There’s absolutely no reason for me to say anything like that. It’s terrible. I’m extremely embarrassed.
“It’s not the kind of person that I am… But unfortunately, I did it and I have to own up to it and I’m very apologetic.
“I deeply apologize to everybody and anybody who I offended and I’ll be better because of it.”
The Ralph Lauren Corporation seemed to leave the door open for future sponsorship of the golfer.
“As we make this decision, our hope is that Mr Thomas does the hard and necessary work in order to partner with us again — truly examining this incident, learning, growing and ultimately using his platform to promote inclusion.”
The PGA Tour also spoke out about the incident.
“As he expressed after his round, we agree that Justin’s comment was unacceptable.”
The statement added that Thomas is likely to receive a fine for conduct ‘unbecoming of a professional’.