0:53 World No 3 Justin Thomas apologised for using an ‘inexcusable’ homophobic slur during his third round at the Tournament of Champions
“In reflecting on the responsibility we have to all of our stakeholders, we have decided to discontinue our sponsorship of Mr Thomas at this time.
“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.”
Thomas’ slur was picked up by a greenside microphone as he berated himself for missing a short putt on the fourth green, and he admitted afterwards: “There’s just no excuse. There’s absolutely no reason for me to say anything like that. It’s terrible. It’s not the kind of person that I am.
“I need to do better. I deeply apologise to anyone and everybody who I offended and I’ll be better because of it.”
The uproar generated by his offensive slur was clearly on his mind throughout the final round at Kapalua, although he did manage to fire a closing 66 and finish just one shot out of a playoff, in which Harris English beat Joaquin Niemann with a birdie at the first extra hole.
“I clearly screwed up. I made a terrible, terrible judgment call,” Thomas said after his final round. “But I thought a lot last night that, we grow a lot as people over time. I wish that I could learn to grow a different way than the way that I chose to do it, but unfortunately it’s in the past and there’s nothing I can do about it now.
“Now I just get to take time going forward and try to become better because of it.”
Thomas returns to action on the European Tour next week and is one of the headline acts at the star-studded Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
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January 21, 2021, 3:30am
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