Luxury clothing brand Ralph Lauren has terminated its sponsorship agreement with Justin Thomas after the American uttered a homophobic slur during last week’s Sentry Tournament of Champions.
Thomas was heard saying ‘faggot’ out of frustration for a missed putt in Hawaii, causing controversial social-media reactions.
Thomas immediately apologised for his actions after the round, saying it was ‘inexcusable’ and that he was ‘extremely embarrassed’ as a result.
In a statement, however, Ralph Lauren for Polo explained their decision to ‘discontinue’ their partnership with Thomas for the damage he did to the brand.
‘We are disheartened by Mr Thomas’ recent language, which is entirely inconsistent with our values,’ read the statement.
‘While we acknowledge that he has apologised and recognises 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 ‘discontinues’ sponsorship of Justin Thomas after he uttered a homophobic slur at last week’s Sentry Tournament of Champions.
— Daniel Rapaport (@Daniel_Rapaport) January 15, 2021
Thomas had been playing with Polo apparel ever since he turned pro eight years ago and achieved a lot of success on and off the golf course during his association with the brand.
He is yet to respond to the Ralph Lauren decision.