The World No.3 was heard on cameras making an anti-gay slur after missing a putt
Justin Thomas Apologises For Homophobic Slur – “It’s Not Who I Am”
Justin Thomas has apologised and says he is embarrassed after cameras picked up a homophobic slur during the Tournament of Champions.
The defending champion and World No.3 missed a par putt at the fourth hole before saying the word under his breath.
“There’s just no excuse. I’m an adult, I’m a grown man. There’s absolutely no reason for me to say anything like that. It’s terrible,” Thomas told the Golf Channel after his round.
“I’m extremely embarrassed. It’s not who I am. 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.
“Like I said, it’s inexcusable. I’m speechless. It’s bad. There’s no other way to put it.
“I need to do better. I need to be better. It’s definitely a learning experience. I deeply apologise to everybody and anybody who I offended and I’ll be better because of it.”
A clip of Thomas’ missed putt and slur has had over 100,000 views on social media, with Sports Media LGBT+ condemning the American’s actions.
“The casual use of anti-gay language in sports – usually without homophobic intent – is a major reason why many athletes and coaches who are LGBT+ don’t feel they would be made welcome if they came out,” the account, which says it is “helping to build a sports community of #LGBT+ people and allies” wrote on Twitter.
The PGA Tour said in a statement: “As he expressed after his round, we agree that Justin’s comment was unacceptable.”
Thomas is four strokes off of the lead heading into the final round in Hawaii.
The 2017 PGA Champion is at 16 under par after three rounds, with Ryan Palmer and Harris English leading at 21 under.