A week after top golfer Justin Thomas uttered a homophobic slur at a tournament, he's seeing the fall out of his actions. While the PGA Tour previously said they would likely fine the athlete, Ralph Lauren has now dropped him.
"We are disheartened by Mr. Thomas’s recent language, which is entirely inconsistent with our values," the company said in a statement. "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." Ralph Lauren trended on Twitter Friday night after releasing the statement.
Last Saturday, at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii, Thomas said the slur after missing a putt. The same day, a little later he made an apology, saying that what he had done was "inexcusable."
"I’m an adult. I’m a grown man. There’s absolutely no reason for me to say anything like that," he said at the time. "It’s definitely a learning experience. I deeply apologize to anyone and everybody who I offended and I’ll be better because of it.”
Ralph Lauren has notably promoted inclusion in the past and increasingly so over the last few years. In addition to their Pride campaign, for Holiday 2020 they included the families of same-sex couples Greg Berlanti and Robbie Rogers as well as Aweng and Alexus Ade-Cuol in their campaign.
According to Golf Channel, Thomas has worked with Ralph Lauren since he turned professional in 2013.