Thomas was dropped by Ralph Lauren in January 2021 after using a homophobic slur.
Justin Thomas Faces Awkward Ralph Lauren Question
The Ryder Cup gets underway on Friday with the world watching 24 of golf’s elite battle it out over the Whistling Straits layout.
After an impressive display in his debut at Le Golf National, Justin Thomas returns looking to win the Ryder Cup back for Team USA.
It was in his press conference on Tuesday though that he faced a rather contentious question from a journalist, regarding the Ralph Lauren gear that Team USA are donning this week.
The question, which went “you’re obviously having to wear the Ralph Lauren US Team uniform this week. How was that handled in the background? Were there any problems, any discussions, and was it any distraction for you this week?”
Thomas’ responded to the question, saying “my priorities are a lot more than the clothes I’m wearing this week. It’s about trying to get a point for Team USA and earn as many as I can. It was never even a discussion until just now.”
Back in January 2021, the American was dropped by Ralph Lauren after using a homophobic slur at the Tournament of Champions.
A statement from Ralph Lauren read “we are disheartened by Mr. Thomas’s recent language, which is entirely inconsistent with our values. While we acknowledge that 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 that we strive to uphold.
“In reflecting on the responsibility we have to all of our stakeholders, we have decided to discontinue our sponsorship of Mr. Thomas at this time.
“As we make this decision, our hope is that Mr. Thomas does the hard and necessary work in order to partner with us again – truly examining this incident, learning, growing and ultimately using his platform to promote inclusion.”
Thomas, who apologised profusely, and even had Rory McIlroy come out in support of him, said “it’s humiliating, it’s embarrassing, and it’s not me.
“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, and 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.
“I think disappointed is the wrong word, obviously I was upset. But at the end of the day, they have that right. They had to make the decision that they had to make.”