comscore Golfer Justin Thomas apologizes for homophobic slur at Maui tournament | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Golfer Justin Thomas apologizes for homophobic slur at Maui tournament

  • MAUI NEWS VIA ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                Justin Thomas follows through on a shot during the third round of the Tournament of Champions golf event as Xander Schauffele looks on Saturday ay the Kapalua Plantation Course on Maui.

    MAUI NEWS VIA ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Justin Thomas follows through on a shot during the third round of the Tournament of Champions golf event as Xander Schauffele looks on Saturday ay the Kapalua Plantation Course on Maui.

KAPALUA, Maui >> Justin Thomas apologized Saturday afternoon for uttering a homophobic slur under his breath when he missed a 5-foot par putt on the fourth hole of the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

“It’s inexcusable,” Thomas said. “First off, I just apologize. 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.”

Thomas said he was not aware that it had been picked up and was a topic on social media until after his round. He finished with a 5-under 68 and is four shots back of the lead.

The PGA Tour said in a statement, “As he expressed after his round, we agree that Justin’s comment was unacceptable.” He is likely to be fined for conduct unbecoming a professional, though the PGA Tour does not disclose conduct punishment.

A year ago, Scott Piercy lost two endorsement deals for sharing a homophobic meme poking fun at Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, who is gay, when he announced he was suspending his campaign. Piercy also referenced the far-right conspiracy theory QAnon.

Patrick Reed also had to apologize in Shanghai in 2014 when he cursed in conjunction with a homophobic slur after three-putting.

Thomas, who reached No. 1 in the world for one week last year, is the defending champion at Kapalua.

“It’s bad. There’s no other way to put it,” Thomas said. “I need to do better, I need to be better. It’s definitely a learning experience. I just … I deeply apologize to everybody and anybody who I offended and I’ll be better because of it.”

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