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Golf star Justin Thomas said Wednesday he will enter a training program amid the fallout from muttering a homophobic slur during a tournament earlier this month.
Thomas, who lost Ralph Lauren as a sponsor, said he hoped to “become a better person.”
“It’s not a word I use,” Thomas insisted. “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.”
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Thomas said he was “upset” at the clothing brand’s decision to drop him.
“But at the end of the day, they have that right. They had to make the decision. I spoke with them along with all my sponsors. Although I apologized, it was then; it’s an opportunity for me to grow and I felt like it was something we could have done together and gone through that process. They just felt like they needed to move on. That’s exactly what I’m doing, as well,” he said, via The Guardian.
JUSTIN THOMAS DROPPED BY RALPH LAUREN AFTER MUTTERING HOMOPHOBIC SLUR DURING TOURNAMENT
“Just like my other partners and other sponsorships, it’s an opportunity for them to help me just like I hope to help them. But like I said, they had to do what they had to do. They are a huge, huge global brand and I have to respect their decision. 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 we would have had the opportunity to do it together. I totally respect their decision and I’ve moved on from it.”
Thomas did find support from his fellow PGA Tour competitor Rory McIlroy on Tuesday.
“I mean, I think he’s already responded really, really well,” McIlroy said, according to Golf.com. “I think he realized he made a big mistake as soon as it was brought to him last week in Hawaii, 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.”
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Thomas said a homophobic slur during the third round of the Sentry Championship in Hawaii. He was heard muttering the f-word slur on the fourth hole after missing a chance at par and settling for a bogey.
He apologized after the round was over.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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