March 6, 2020 / 3:16 AM / 23 days ago

Golfer Piercy loses sponsors over homophobic Buttigieg meme - reports

FILE PHOTO: February 8, 2020; Pebble Beach, California, USA; Scott Piercy acknowledges the crowd after making his putt on the first hole during the third round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament at Spyglass Hill Golf Course. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

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

The Titleist and FootJoy brands, both owned by U.S. 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 apologies 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 U.S. 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.

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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