Golfer Piercy loses sponsors over homophobic Buttigieg meme

Apr 26, 2019 Avondale, LA, USA – Scott Piercy at the Zurich Classic golf tournament at TPC Louisiana – Image: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) – Former US Open runner-up Scott Piercy has lost major sponsors, after he posted a homophobic meme on social media about openly-gay former US presidential candidate, Pete Buttigieg, several media reported.

The Titleist and FootJoy brands, both owned by US golf equipment and clothing retailer Acushnet Holdings Co, and Swedish fashion retailer J. Lindeberg, have reportedly dropped Piercy though he deleted the meme and apologised.

Piercy could not be immediately reached through his agency for comment by Reuters, and he declined to comment when approached by golfchannel.com at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida.

Piercy apologised on Instagram and vowed to “do better” but that apparently was not enough to assuage Acushnet and J. Lindeberg.

“The claims from Scott Piercy were unacceptable and far from our views and beliefs. We have since terminated our contract with Mr. Piercy,” J. Lindeberg said in an email to golf.com.

The 41-year-old American, who has won four PGA Tour titles and earned prize money of more than $20 million, finished joint second to Dustin Johnson at the 2016 US Open.

Buttigieg, former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, dropped out of the race on Sunday to become the Democratic Party’s candidate for November’s presidential election.

J. Lindeberg and Titleist did not immediately respond to a request by Reuters for comment.

-Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina

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