starting over

MLB, NFL announcer fired last year for using antigay slur lands new gig calling high school sports

Most professional sportscasters start their careers by announcing for college and minor league teams and then work their way up to the major leagues, where they can earn upwards of $1 million a year. Unless you’re Thom Brennaman.

The disgraced ex-MLB and NFL sportscaster was fired from Fox Sports last September after he casually dropped an antigay slur on the air during a Cincinnati Reds game.

After video of the slur went viral, Brennaman embarked on an apology tour, saying he was a “man of faith” and really, really sorry to “the people who sign my paycheck.”

“That is not who I am, and never has been,” he insisted. “And I’d like to think that maybe I could have some people that, uh, that could back that up.”

He also wrote an apology published in The Cincinnati Enquirer and told The New York Post that he’d never used the slur before in his life. He only said it that one time, which, unfortunately, happened to be caught on video. Oops!

Unfortunately, the people who signed his paycheck didn’t buy any of his apologies and Fox Sports, which Brennaman had been with since 1994, announced he was being dropped from its roster.

Now, nearly one year later, the 57-year-old will be putting on his headset once again, but it won’t be for the Cincinnati Reds, or any other professional sports team for that matter. Instead, he’ll be broadcasting high school sports in the Greater Cincinnati Area.

Brennaman has just inked a deal with Chatterbox Sports, a subscription-based service with 1,618 Facebook fans, where he will be calling local high school events.

“I’m so grateful and excited,” he said in a video statement released this week. “I grew up here in Greater Cincinnati. I know what high school football, high school basketball and high school sports mean to this area. This is what I was doing … when my career started. Here we are coming full circle getting back out to high school sports.”

That’s some pretty artful spin there, Thom.

Graham Gremore is the Features Editor and a Staff Writer at Queerty. Follow him on Twitter @grahamgremore.

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14 Comments

  • Curt

    And yet no apologies to the LBTQ community around what damage such comments make. Such comments have a real and often serious comments to real people.

  • miller2900

    …you know I’m not going to waste energy watching the video replay of one man’s screw up. Unless someone finds a long list of him spewing hateful rhetoric, give him a chance to redeem himself for Christ sakes. More than likely, he has a wife (or ex-wife working on #2) and/or kids that he already has had to grovel in front of. What readers here can say they’ve never spewed something outta their mouth that they shouldn’t have. Just because a person happens to have a job in the public eye doesn’t mean they stopped being human and fallible to sticking their foot in their mouth. Remember how long he had his job to begin with…. and apparently hadn’t stuck his foot in his mouth prior to this incident. As long as the man has made a sincere effort to apologize……and that doesn’t have to be to every “Tom, Dick, or Harry” on the planet…. unless of course you happen to be someone that signs the man’s paycheck or pays his rent/mortgage. I think our world has enough bitchy queens looking to slam others…. we need to stop being cowards and hiding here on the Internet anonymously thinking we can say any cruel thing about people we don’t even know and certainly don’t know ALL THE DETAILS…. OR FACTS for that matter. I would like to know why Faux News was so quick to can the man if he had such a long career with them.

    • scooterpdx

      I watched it several times. And enjoyed it knowing that he was fired because of it. That doesn’t make me a bitchy queen. It makes me someone who believes in Karma. That word has been used to belittle, injure and even kill people. When he defended himself by saying that he is a man of faith, he seemed to be saying that his religion told him to hate gays. It’s not his fault. And how do you know he has had just one screw up? He’s had one screwup that was caught. Now he can work his way back up the ladder and maybe atone for his screwup by working with local LGBTQ groups.

    • Cam

      So let’s see,

      The guy who makes a bigoted nasty attack on the LGBTQ community is just a poor victim who’s a great guy who MIGHT have a wife and kids.

      And the people he attacked are evil bitchy queens.

      Wow, you don’t even TRY to hide your trolling do you?

  • Kevan1

    He should not be aloud to be around kids spewing his ignorance and hate.

    • Kangol2

      Allowed or aloud, either way, keep this homophobic creep away from kids!

  • blackhook

    In the Queen City, we call him Thom Turd™…Sad!

  • RickHeathen

    I watched the video. That word slid out of his mouth with an ease and obvious contempt that I refuse to believe it was the first time he said it. He needed to go. No second chances. Anyone who would use that word, at any point, has that word in their regular vocabulary. You don’t just accidentally let that one slip anymore than you can the N word.

  • Matthewnow

    I am a man of faith and in a moment anger have used the Lords name in anger. I asked forgiveness and moved forward. Unless there is documented evidence that he has continually used homophobic slurs, give the man a break. BUT, if he used the “n” word, he would have been erased from earth. There is a hierarchy of hate in this world.

    • Cam

      It’s cute when the right wing troll just can’t resist.

      Notice how, while defending the guy who spewed anti-LGBTQ hate, it also takes a second to try to insert a complaint about racists being held responsible for their racism?

      Wow, you just can’t help yourself.

    • Kangol2

      @Matthewnow, you actually came on this site to spew your claptrap? Let’s see, Gwyneth Paltrow used the “n” word more than once and she not only isn’t canceled but is still a media darling and a “lifestyle” leader the media still regularly quotes and cites. Paris Hilton is another person who used the “n” word and she’s still regularly featured across the net, etc. So let’s try again: you’re defending this homophobic creep, who blurted out what he truly felt, because: why?

    • Openminded

      Matthewnow, in another instance, I might could possibly agree with you that a person deserves a second chance, but my personal observation has been that when a person states, “this is not me” or “this is not who I am”, it almost always turns out that “this is actually exactly who they are”.

  • Fahd

    It shows poor judgment to reemploy him in a context where he interacts with or influences young people who are at such a key age in forming their values and beliefs. Everyone knows it’s a nod that homophobia is okay and if you’re a gay adolescent get used to the mistreatment. Decent people should boycott Chatterbox Sports.

    • Liquid Silver

      Tend to agree here. In this case, register a complaint, turn it off, and notify the advertisers of your decision and why.

      If these advertisers are also those who do Pride stuff, the hypocrisy should be…found to be amusing.

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