Justin Thomas dropped by long term sponsor Ralph Lauren

Professional golfer Justin Thomas has been dumped by long-time sponsor Ralph Lauren following his use of a gay slur on the course earlier this week.

Thomas quickly said he was deeply apologetic after he got frustrated during the third round of the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.

The golfer, who is defending the $US 6.7 million dollar event, missed a five foot put on the fourth hall after which he uttered the slur which was picked up by nearby TV cameras.

“There’s just no excuse,” the 27-year-old American told Golf Channel.

“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.”

Major sponsor Ralph Lauren, who first backed the golfer in 2013 however has cancelled their business arrangement. In a media statement released on Friday the fashion brand said they were disheartened by the language used by Thomas and he could not remain an ambassador for their brand.

At the Ralph Lauren Corporation, we believe in the dignity of all people, regardless of age, race, gender identity, ethnicity, political affiliation or sexual orientation. This is part of our longstanding commitment to foster cultures of belonging – in the workplace and in communities around the world.

We are disheartened by Mr. Thomas’s recent language, which is entirely inconsistent with our 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.

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.

The former world number one had a break out year in 2017 when he won five PGA events including the PGA Championship.

OIP Staff

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