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Justin Thomas has been dropped by one of his biggest sponsors after making a homophobic remark during last week’s Sentry Tournament of Champions.

The world No.3 has seen his deal with apparel sponsor Ralph Lauren torn up after on-course microphones picked him up making the comment.

After missing a par putt early in the third round, Thomas was heard to mutter “f****t” under his breath as he prepared to tap in for bogey. 

At the end of his round, the American apologised profusely, saying that he had “screwed up”.

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“It’s terrible,” he said. “I mean, I’m extremely embarrassed. It’s not who I am, it’s not the kind of person that I am or anything but, unfortunately, I did it and I have to own up to it and I’m very apologetic.”

However, that wasn’t enough to save his professional relationship with Ralph Lauren.

In a statement, the clothing giant said: “At the Ralph Lauren Corporation, we believe in the dignity of all people, regardless of age, race, gender identity, ethnicity, political affiliation or sexual orientation. This is part of our longstanding commitment to foster cultures of belonging – in the workplace and in communities around the world.

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“We are disheartened by Mr Thomas’s recent language, which is entirely inconsistent with our values. 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.”

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Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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