On today’s telecast of the Sentry Tournament of Champions, Justin Thomas pushed a putt right like you’ll do next weekend with your buddies and was caught on a hot mic.
Just a warning for the following video:
Thomas very clearly dropped a slur that isn’t appropriate for television, especially with children watching. Thomas offered an apology soon after he walked off the 18th green.
“There’s just no excuse,” Thomas said. “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. It’s not who I am. It’s not the kind of person that I am. Unfortunately I did it and I have to own up to it and I’m very apologetic.”
“Like I said, it’s inexcusable. I’m speechless. It’s bad. There’s no other way to put it. I need to do better. I need to be better. It’s definitely a learning experience. I deeply apologize to anyone and everybody who I offended and I’ll be better because of it.”
Clearly, Justin Thomas is remorseful. But maybe there’s a problem in sports that we’re ignoring? Isn’t it possible that we have too much coverage and these athletes aren’t given enough space to make mistakes? Of course, he never should call himself a racial slur, but he’s also expected to be a model citizen every time he hits the links.
Apologetic, yet maybe he shouldn’t be?
Out of everything Thomas stated, “it’s a learning experience” stuck out the most. That’s all this situation was. He yelled out a word while doing his job in frustration and at all times of the round–cameras and mics are hot. THAT is the learning experience that he doesn’t have the freedom to make mistakes like we do. He can still feel sorry for exposing his young fans to that type of language, while at the same time recognizing the fact that we’re too involved. Goes without saying that most of us would be cancelled if mics were by our faces 24/7, too.
If the PGA really wanted us to hear everything (which is awesome)…why wouldn’t they delay live audio? Human-beings are naturally flawed, so wouldn’t it make sense to accommodate our athletes as if they were, in fact, still normal people?
I personally appreciate that Justin Thomas got out front of this and was truly sorry. We still should find ways to better protect them from feeling exposed when they make an honest mistake.