By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw
The major clothing brand RALPH LAUREN has ended its sponsorship of Justin Thomas, the world number three golfer and Ryder Cup player, following a homophobic remark he made, overheard by a live microphone, after missing a putt in the third round of the Sentry Tour of Champions in Hawaii earlier this month.
The twenty-seven-year-old said afterwards: “it’s inexcusable!”
A spokesperson for RALPH LAUREN remarked:
“While we acknowledge he has apologised and recognises the severity of his words, he is a paid ambassador of our brand and his actions conflict with the inclusive culture we strive to uphold.”
“We hope that Thomas does the hard and necessary work to partner with us again.”
So, the way is open for the golfer to regain the lucrative sponsorship. What he must do to make amends, however, is not clear.
Thomas also faces a fine by the PGA Tour for his offensive remark.
It just shows how an overheard unguarded remark can prove quite costly!
Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’