NEW YORK, NY — (01-15-21) — The Ralph Lauren Corporation has announced that they have cut their sponsorship agreement with golfer Justin Thomas over his use of a anti-gay slur.
Former world No. 1, and currently third in golf’s rankings, Justin Thomas apologized for making the anti-gay slur, which took place at a PGA Tour tournament in Hawaii last Saturday.
“There’s no excuse,” Thomas told the Golf Channel in an on-air apology immediately after his round.
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In a statement, the Ralph Lauren Corporation said it was discontinuing its sponsorship of Justin Thomas because of his use of the anti-gay slur, which the company said inconsistent with its values.
“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,” a statement from the corporation said.
Thomas blurted out the slur after he missed a par putt during the Sentry Tournament of Champions’ third round in Hawaii last Saturday and his words were caught by television microphones.
“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,” Thomas said in his apology.
“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,” Ralph Lauren statement said.
The PGA Tour has also spoken out on this incident. “As he expressed after his round, we agree that Justin’s comment was unacceptable,” the PGA Tour said in a statement according to the AFP news agency, which added Thomas is likely to be fined for conduct “unbecoming of a professional.”
JRL CHARTS reached out to Justin Thomas’ agent Lance Young of Excels Sports Management for comment but as of this article, no response.
Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer
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