Justin Thomas Criticized for Homophobic Language at Sentry Tournament of Champions

The golfer missed an easy putt, which set things in motion

Sentry Tournament Of Champions - Round Three
Justin Thomas of the United States reacts on the 18th green during the third round of the Sentry Tournament Of Champions.
Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

It happened in the third round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions. Golfer Justin Thomas attempted what should have been an easy putt on the fourth hole. Thomas missed — and then opted to show his frustration in one of the worst ways imaginable.

As he walked around the hole, Thomas uttered a homophobic slur, perhaps forgetting that he was on live television and thus surrounded by cameras and microphones — or simply not caring. Either way, it was a terrible decision on his part. You can see the clip in question below. Thomas uses the offensive language about 20 seconds in.

At Yahoo! News, Lily Wakefield covered the controversy that followed Thomas’s offensive choice of words. The organization Sports Media LGBT+ quickly criticized Thomas on Twitter. “The casual use of anti-gay language in sports – usually without homophobic intent – is a major reason why many athletes and coaches who are #LGBT+ don’t feel they would be made welcome if they came out,” the organization wrote.

For his part, Thomas apologized after the event. He told BBC Sport, “I’m an adult. I’m a grown man, there’s absolutely no reason for me to say anything like that. It’s terrible. I’m extremely embarrassed.”

According to the Yahoo! report, Thomas also stated, “It’s not the kind of person that I am” to several media outlets. Unfortunately for him, there was audible evidence to the contrary on a live broadcast. The PGA Tour was also quick to address Thomas’s homophobic slur. “As he expressed after his round, we agree that Justin’s comment was unacceptable,” they stated.

There’s no word yet on whether any disciplinary action will be taken against Thomas.

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