American Justin Thomas has apologised after he was heard saying a homophobic slur during the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Kapalua on Sunday.
After fluffing his lines while attempting a short putt, a frustrated Thomas was picked up by the microphone he was wearing uttering the anti-gay comment. Following the incident, a remorseful Thomas spoke to the media to offer a resounding apology to anyone offended by his remark.
“I’m extremely embarrassed,” he told reporters after the event. “It’s not who I am, it’s not the kind of person that I am or anything that I do, but it’s unfortunate that I did it and I have to own up to it and I’m very apologetic.”
Continuing with his apology, the world number three continued to chastise himself for the remark, stating how disgusted he was with himself.
“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. It’s definitely a learning experience. I deeply apologise to anybody and everybody who I offended and I’ll be better because of it.”
Despite the apology, Thomas is set to face some tough disciplinary action from the PGA, who are likely to dish out a hefty fine for the infraction. In an official statement, the PGA said afterwards: “As he expressed after his round, we agree that Justin’s comment was unacceptable.”
This isn’t the first time golf has found itself caught up in a anti-gay storm. Just last year, PGA Tour player Scott Piercy was dropped by his sponsors for sharing a homophobic meme on his Instagram account. The player also received a ticking off from the PGA, although the organisation doesn’t reveal specifics about the punishments it hands out.
Thomas will be hoping his apology goes some way to making amends, although at this moment in time it remains to be seen whether he’ll lose the support of his sponsors.