Almost a week after Justin Thomas was caught on a live mic muttering a homophobic slur to himself after missing at putt at the 2021 Sentry Tournament of Champions, Polo Ralph Lauren dropped its sponsorship of Thomas.
In a Friday statement, Ralph Lauren Corporation 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.
"We are disheartened by Mr. Thomas’s recent language, which is entirely inconsistent with our values. 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."
While Lauren is dropping Thomas, they do leave the door open for the 2017 PGA champion to again work with the Lauren staff provided he demonstrates to the company that he's done the work needed to grow beyond the incident.
Thomas' other sponsors have not announced similar action.
Thomas missed a 5-foot par putt on the fourth hole of the third round at Kapalua Resort in Hawaii, and he said "f*****t" to himself as he went to clean up the next putt for bogey. The remark was aired on Golf Channel.
He was made aware of the remark airing after the round and offered an apology and vowed to do better.