Justin Thomas, currently the #3 pro golfer in the world, was apparently surprised to learn that television cameras caught him using a homophobic slur after missing a putt at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii on Saturday.
Thomas was attempting a five-foot putt at the fourth hole when his shot went astray. He could clearly be heard saying “fa**ot” in frustration.
Big fan, not a great look.
Are we gonna apologize for the language here @JustinThomas34 @PGATOUR ? pic.twitter.com/QvIYdOv7F9
— Imsolazy (@DustyBurlap) January 10, 2021
The Golf Channel spoke to Thomas about the remark and he expressed his regret for using the word.
“It’s inexcusable – first off I just apologize,” said Thomas. “There’s no excuse. I’m an adult, 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. Unfortunately I did it and I have to own up to it.”
“I found out when I got done with my round…it’s bad,” he added. “There’s no other way to put it. I need to do better.”
“I deeply apologize to everybody and anybody who I offended and I’ll be better because of it.”
Thomas expanded on those thoughts speaking to NBC Golf after finishing third on Sunday.
“I wish that I could learn to grow a different way than the way that I chose to do it, but unfortunately it’s in the past and there’s nothing I can do about it now,” said the 27-year-old.
“It definitely was a distraction out there today. But now I just get to take time going forward and try to become better because of it.”
Thomas banked a $490,000 payday for his third place finish.
Some on Twitter defended Thomas and his use of the slur:
Wait… he’s on a golf green, no people, persons, theys, thems, there’s, that’s, hers,hims, she’s, shems or hims around… so he’s clearly not directing this statement at an individual, merely a moment in time that frustrated him. What are we doing here, let this man f@cking golf
— Patrick Hughes (@Projektpat205) January 10, 2021
Every golfer understands his frustrations and has said much worse than this. I guarantee 99% of people “offended” by this don’t golf nor watch it, but seizing an opportunity to shame a good man like the vultures they are. He apologized, let it go.
— Bake (@RolinBaker) January 10, 2021
Yeah I think we need to all relax on this one. JT is only human and did apologise let’s not make this more than what it is a little slip of the tongue 👅. It happens to us all💪🏌🏻♂️
— JP O’Donnell (@JPMuttODonnell) January 10, 2021
But others wondered why it was this particular word that Thomas used.
It wasn’t f*ck, sh*t, dammit, dang it, or a host of other terms. It was a homophobic slur.
And is it noteworthy that Thomas didn’t even notice he used the word until it was pointed out?
What the hell, man! JT was one of my faves!This is such a bummer.
Why is that even in his vocabulary or thinking process?
Why not not just say ‘fuck’ or something else vulgar, but saying ‘fag’ means else he’s got some issues upstairs!Apologies mean nothing if it’s not accidental.
— Kavita Milurd (@KavitaMilurd) January 10, 2021
He said it which means it is in his mental wheel house. The apology is irrelevant. His being homophobic is an entirely different matter and THE more relevant matter. Now YOU get over it.
— Bill Strippoli (@BillStrippoli) January 10, 2021
A Cincinnati son of Marty Brennaman ( Thom ) just lost his major national TV job by saying the exact same word ( Caught on a hot mike during commercial ). These are professionals who are on TV. I know many other expletives he could have used other than this.
— Daryle Davis (@DaryleDavis1) January 10, 2021
All these straight people saying he doesn’t need to apologize. . . The slur has been so normalized amongst them that they think they own it.
— Jon C (@J_cody768) January 10, 2021
So many replies here making fun 8f triggered people. But ya know. Why is it NEVER “whitie” “craqqer” or “honqey” when a slur falls out “accidentally”? Why is it always antigay\black slurs? Funny huh? #MisspelledOnPurposeSTFU
— JYonce’ (@jazzyjyonce) January 10, 2021
What do you think, readers? Big deal? Little deal? Does Thomas’s apology land for you?
Let us know what you think in the comments below.