PGA's Justin Thomas Says He'll Enter Training Program After Using Anti-Gay Slur

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 21, 2021

Justin Thomas watches his tee shot on the 17th hole during the first round of the PNC Championship golf tournament, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

The world's No. 3 golfer Justin Thomas said Thursday that he plans to enter a training program after using an anti-gay slur on the course two weeks ago.

According to TMZ Sports, Thomas said:

"It's not a word I use, but for some reason it was in there and that's what I'm trying to figure out—why it was in there.

"And like I said, it's going to be part of this process and training program, whatever I need to do, not only to prove to myself but to prove to my sponsors and prove to the people who don't know who I am that that is indeed not the person I am."

Thomas used the slur after missing a putt during the third round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Kapalua, Hawaii.

After that round ended, Thomas said the following when asked about the slur: "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."

In response, fashion brand Ralph Lauren announced last week that it had dropped its sponsorship agreement with Thomas:

The PGA Tour hasn't announced any punishments against Thomas, but it released the following statement regarding the slur: "As he expressed after his round, we agree that Justin's comment was unacceptable."

Thomas, 27, is one of the brightest young stars in golf who already has 13 career PGA Tour victories to his credit. Among them is the 2017 PGA Championship, his first and only major title to date. He also managed a fourth-place finish in last year's Masters.

The Louisville, Kentucky, native is a former world No. 1 and currently ranks third in the world golf rankings behind only Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm.

Thomas returned to competition this week in the European Tour's Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, which is being played at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.