“I had a great relationship with a lot of people there, and like I said, we would have had the opportunity to do it together, and I totally respect their decision and I’ve moved on from it”
Justin Thomas has spoken for the first time since losing Ralph Lauren as a sponsor, saying he was “upset.” Rory McIlory has also said that Thomas will “try to be better.”
Thomas apologised for the incident at the time and had been hopeful to resolve the issue with his sponsor.
However, the pair have parted ways, with Ralph Lauren releasing a statement stating “his actions conflict with the inclusive culture that we strive to uphold.”
“Just like my other partners and other sponsorships, it’s an opportunity for them to help me just like I hope to help them,” Thomas explained to reporters ahead of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
“Like I said, I wasn’t disappointed, because I put them in a terrible position. I just was more upset.
“I had a great relationship with a lot of people there, and like I said, we would have had the opportunity to do it together, and I totally respect their decision and I’ve moved on from it.”
Again, the world number three reiterated how sorry he was for using the homophobic slur.
“You know, I’m clearly beyond not proud of what I said. It’s humiliating. It’s embarrassing. It’s not me,” Thomas continued.
“It’s not a word that I use, but for some reason, it was in there. And that’s what I’m trying to figure out as to why it was in there.
“It’s going to be a part of this process and training program or whatever I need to do, not only to prove to myself but prove to my sponsors and prove to those people that don’t know who I am, that that is indeed not the person I am.”
@JustinThomas34 has issued an apology for his homophobic slur at @Sentry_TOC. I feel bad for anyone who was hurt by the what he said. I hope people forgive him, he seems like one of the nice guys. But it’s a reminder we need to stop using offensive language. pic.twitter.com/zO85NIX3io
— Slingn’ It Golf (@slingnitgolf) January 10, 2021
Rory McIlroy has spoken in support of Thomas, while also saying the American will “try to be better.”
“I think he’s already responded really, really well,” the four-time major winner said.
“I think he realised he made a big mistake as soon as it was brought to him and he completely owned up to it.
“He said he messed up, he’s going to try to be better. And Justin is true to his word. He will be.
Shane Lowry also had his say on the issue of mics picking up what players say on the golf course.
“You need to be careful what you do say and you need to watch what you’re saying because people are watching at home,” the 2019 Open Champion said.
“The microphones do get very close at times, especially when you’re under a high-pressure situation.”