Pro golfer keeps at least one sponsor

Investment bank Citi decided Monday to keep its sponsorship of Justin Thomas, condemning the anti-gay slur he muttered and requiring him to donate a “meaningful portion” of his deal as part of an active role in LGBTQ causes.

Carla Hassan, the chief marketing officer of New York-based Citi, announced the decision in a company blog post titled, “When an apology isn’t enough.”

“We considered terminating our relationship with him,” she wrote. “It would send a clear and important message, but we decided to use this moment to work with Justin to try to create change.”

Thomas, the No. 3 player in the world whose 13 victories at age 27 include a major championship, missed a 4-foot par putt in the Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua on Jan. 9 when television audio caught him muttering the slur under his breath. Thomas apologized after the third and final rounds.

Ralph Lauren Corp. ended its sponsorship of him a week later. Hassan said some of her colleagues felt anything less than cutting ties to Thomas would undermine Citi’s commitment to the LGBTQ community and that was considered.

“We want to more than make it clear that it is wrong to use this word,” she wrote. “Instead, we hope our efforts can lead more people to make an affirmative choice not to use this word.”

— The Associated Press


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