At least Justin Thomas still has Citi Bank. The sponsor has decided to stick with the golfer, even though others dumped him because he uttered a homophobic slur after missing a putt at the Sentry Tournament of Champions a couple of weeks back.
Of course, Citi did indeed admonish Thomas in a blog post from chief marketing officer Carla Hassan, who referred to Thomas’ anti-gay remark as “beyond offensive.”
Ralph Lauren and several other brands cut ties with Thomas afterward. But Hassan wrote that Citi will “work with” Thomas.
“We want to do more than make it clear that it is wrong to use this word,” Hassan wrote. “Instead, we hope our efforts can lead more people to make an affirmative choice not to use this word or others like it — and to speak up when others do — because they understand the impact it can have, including on a friend, colleague or teammate who may be struggling with the decision to disclose their sexual orientation.”
Thomas, 27, is currently the world’s third-ranked golfer. He won the PGA Championship in 2017 and finished fourth in The Masters last year. He is a native of Louisville, KY, and attended the University of Alabama, where he was a member of the 2013 NCAA championship team.
“It’s not a word I use,” he said last week, when announcing he was entering a training program. “But for some reason it was in there and that’s what I’m trying to figure out — why it was in there. … 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.”