Professional golfer Justin Thomas–currently ranked #3 in the world–has apologized for the use of an anti-gay slur while on the course last week.
“It’s inexcusable,” Thomas said, reports CBS. “First off, I just apologize. 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 or anything that I do. Unfortunately, I did it, and I have to own up to it, and I’m very apologetic.”
The incident occurred as Thomas took to the green during round three of the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii. While putting on the fourth hole, he missed a 5-foot look at par. Thomas grunted the word “f-ggot” as a cruse. A live mic caught the utterance, which sparked an immediate outcry on social media.
Thomas further explained that he didn’t realize he was on a hot mic at the time.
His comment also brought immediate condemnation from the PGA. “As he expressed after his round, we agree that Justin’s comment was unacceptable,” the organization said in a statement. Thomas also faces a possible fine over the slur.
The moment also may have had an effect on Thomas’ golf game. He shot a 66 on the course the following day, losing his place in the playoffs by one stroke.
“Obviously had a lot of other things on my mind last night,” he said. “I mean, I apologized yesterday. I don’t need to explain myself. I clearly screwed up. I made a terrible, terrible judgment call. But I thought a lot last night that, we grow a lot as people over time. I wish that I could learn to grow a different way than the way that I chose to do it, but unfortunately, it’s in the past and there’s nothing I can do about it now. And again, it definitely was a distraction out there today. But now I just get to take time going forward and try to become better because of it.”
This isn’t the first time Justin Thomas’ language has landed him in trouble on the course. The 27-year-old golfer is known for his hot temper, and hot microphones have picked up his use of profanity on the green, usually after missing a shot.