Justin Thomas, the world’s number three golfer, sparked widespread outrage after he was caught on microphone uttering a homophobic slur.
He uttered the word after he missed a short putt at an ongoing PGA Tour event in Hawaii.
Many people took to social media to slam Thomas for his behavior. Following the widespread backlash, the golfer apologized, saying that his behavior was “inexcusable.”
Word used by Justin Thomas is highly offensive
Thomas, 27, uttered the homophobic F-word — an offensive term used to refer to a gay man. He made the remark while upset after he missed an easy six-foot putt on hole four, during the third round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
The event took place on Saturday at Kapalua’s Plantation course in Hawaii.
As the ball rolled past the cup, a microphone picked him up muttering the slur. You can see the moment in the clip below:
Big fan, not a great look.
— Imsolazy (@DustyBurlap) January 10, 2021
Reactions on social media
Hundreds of golf fans, including members of the LGBTQ community, immediately took to Twitter to slam the golf player.
Many used the opportunity to voice their support for the LGBTQ community, saying that Thomas’s use of a homophobic slur highlights the social challenges that members of the gay community face.
This type of discriminatory language causes real harm, and there is no place for it in sports. We must continue to work for greater inclusion and acceptance. That’s how we all ultimately will win.https://t.co/mlsHH0sk6j
— Alphonso David (@AlphonsoDavid) January 10, 2021
However, some argued that the anger over the golfer’s language was much ado about nothing. They argued that it wasn’t unusual for golfers to curse after a disappointing shot.
But many Twitter users pushed back, saying that what Thomas uttered wasn’t a curse word but a slur.
Some are defending him saying ‘Golfers always cuss’. Someone pointed out this wasn’t a ‘cuss’ word but a mindless (mindful?) slur. Like saying the ‘N-word’ when messing up: “Justin Thomas apologizes for anti-gay slur” https://t.co/cGR45jc53r via @YahooCASports
— BJ Del Conte (@BJDelConte) January 10, 2021
Justin Thomas apologized for using the offensive F-word
Following the widespread backlash, Thomas apologized for his behavior.
He said he did not realize that he used the word in the heat of the moment, according to Golf Digest. He also said he did not realize that his words would be picked up by the microphones.
“It’s inexcusable. First off, I just apologize. There’s no excuse. I’m an adult. I’m a grown man. There’s absolutely no reason for me to say anything like that,” he said (see video below). “It’s… terrible. I’m extremely embarrassed. It’s not who I am. It’s not the kind of person that I am… But, unfortunately, I did it and I have to own up to it and I’m very apologetic.”
“There’s just no excuse – I need to do better. I deeply apologise.”
— Sky Sports (@SkySports) January 10, 2021
This is not the first time that a golfer has come under fire for using the F-word.
Back in 2014, golfer Patrick Reed also sparked outrage after using the word at Shanghai’s WGC-HSBC Champions event.
The latest incident comes soon after Noah Cyrus was forced to apologize for describing the conservative activist Candace Owens as a “nappy a** heaux.”
Alia Shawkat also apologized after using the N-word during a 2016 interview.