Major League Baseball’s Cincinnati Reds have suspended longtime Fox Sports broadcaster Thom Brennaman after he used a gay slur on a hot mic during a game Wednesday night, calling an unspecified city “one of the fag capitals of the world.”
Brennaman made the bizarre remark during the first game of a doubleheader between the Reds and Kansas City Royals. He went on to call the first four innings of the second game, while a clip of his slur went viral on social media. In the fifth inning of the second game, Brennaman issued an on-air apology — interrupting it to call a home run — before leaving the broadcast booth.
“If I have hurt anyone out there, I can’t tell you how much I say from the bottom of my heart, I’m so very, very sorry,” Brennaman said. “I pride myself and think of myself as a man of faith — as there’s a drive into deep left field by Castellanos, it will be a home run, so that will make it a 4-0 ballgame.
“I don’t know if I’m going to be putting on this headset again,” he continued. “I don’t know if it’s going to be for the Reds. I don’t know if it’s going to be for my bosses at Fox. I want to apologize to the people who sign my paycheck, for the Reds, for Fox Sports Ohio, for the people I work with, for anybody I’ve offended here tonight. I can’t begin to tell you how deeply sorry I am. That is not who I am, it never has been, and I’d like to think that maybe I could have some people that could back that up. I am very, very sorry, and I beg for your forgiveness.
“Jim Day will take you the rest of the way home,” Brennaman added, handing over the remainder of the game to his broadcast partner.
The Reds later issued a statement saying the team was “devastated by the horrific, homophobic remark” and announcing Brennaman’s suspension.
The Washington Post adds: The son of Marty Brennaman, the Reds’ radio voice from 1974 until his retirement last year, Thom Brennaman is a Cincinnati native who has been calling Reds games on TV since 2007, and has been doing play-by-play of MLB games for more than three decades. He has also worked national telecasts of MLB and NFL games on Fox for more than 25 years, and called the college football national championship games from 2007 to 2009 (per foxsports.com). … Marge Schott, a former owner of the Reds who died in 2004, acknowledged in 1992 that she used racial and homophobic slurs, as well as that she owned Nazi memorabilia. In June, University of Cincinnati trustees voted to take her name off the school’s baseball stadium, with university president Neville G. Pinto saying her “record of racism and bigotry stands at stark odds with our University’s core commitment to dignity, equity and inclusion.” …After Wednesday’s doubleheader was finished but before the Reds issued their statement, Cincinnati pitcher Amir Garrett tweeted, “To the LGBTQ community just know I am with you, and whoever is against you, is against me. I’m sorry for what was said today.”