World No.3 golfer Justin Thomas has been forced to apologise, after being caught using the word faggot during the third round of the Tournament Of Champions currently under way in Hawaii.
The 27-year-old dropped the f-bomb after missing a six-foot par putt on the fourth hole at Kapalua’s Plantation Course, with the derogatory slur picked up by the microphone Thomas was wearing on the course. After his round, he reportedly said, due to the heat of the moment, that he was unaware that he’d said it, going on to add that “this was not an excuse.”
“First off, I just apologise. 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 who I am, it’s not the kind of person that I am or anything that I do. Unfortunately, I did it and I have to own up to it and I’m very apologetic.”
Having players wear mics, and thereby allowing viewers to hear what they are saying during play has long been a subject of conversation between those on and off the course, with Thomas last year making it clear he was against the idea and perhaps now we know why.
“I would not wear a mic, no. That’s not me. What I talk about with caddie and what I talk about with the guys in my group is none of anybody else’s business, no offence,” Thomas said in an interview.
Currently, with an estimated net worth of $30 million, Thomas enjoys sponsorship deals from a number of large international companies, including Polo Ralph Lauren, Citi Bank and Beats by Dr Dre. However, these could now be in doubt. Last March, when fellow professional golfer, Scott Piercy used an anti-gay slur on Instagram, all five of his sponsors moved to revoke any and all support for the player.
Given the PGA’s long-standing policy of not commenting on player disciplinary action, it is not known what action they are taking against Thomas, however it is believed he will at a minimum receive a fine for use of the word.