The Cincinnati Reds pulled a sports broadcaster from their game last night after he used a homophobic slur on air.
Thom Brennaman, 56, was commentating on the Wednesday night away game between the Reds and the Kansas City Royals. The game was played in Kansas City, while Brennaman was broadcasting remotely from the Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.
Just after a commercial break on Fox Sports Ohio, when Brennaman thought his microphone was turned off, he could be heard referring to somewhere as “one of the fag capitals of the world.”
After the incident occurred, Brennaman – a commentator on Reds games for the past 16 years – made an on-air apology before handing over commentating duties to colleague Jim Day.
Screenshots of the incident quickly popped up on social media.
Thom Brennamann likely ends his Reds career tonight LIVE on the air pic.twitter.com/EDzSICgVmx
— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) August 19, 2020
In his on-air apology during the fifth inning of Game Two, Brennaman said, “I made a comment earlier tonight that I guess went out over the air that I am deeply ashamed of,” he said. “If I have hurt anyone out there, I can´t tell you how much I say from the bottom of my heart, I am very, very sorry.
“I pride myself and think of myself as a man of faith,” he said, before pausing to announce a home run by Cincinnati’s Nick Castellanos. He then continued: “I don’t know if I’m going to be putting on this headset again. 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 for the people who sign my paycheck, for the Reds, for Fox Sports Ohio, for the people I work with, for anybody that 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. I’d like to think maybe I could have some people that can back that up. I am very, very sorry, and I beg for your forgiveness.”
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) August 20, 2020
He then was replaced for the remainder of the game.
Later, the Reds issued a statement.
“The Cincinnati Reds organization is devastated by the horrific, homophobic remark made this evening by broadcaster Thom Brennaman. He was pulled off the air, and effective immediately was suspended from doing Reds broadcasts. We will be addressing our broadcasting team in the coming days.
“In no way does this incident represent our players, coaches, organization, or our fans. We share our sincerest apologies to the LGBTQ+ community in Cincinnati, Kansas City, all across this country, and beyond. The Reds embrace a zero-tolerance policy for bias or discrimination of any kind, and we are truly sorry to anyone who has been offended.”
Among those to comment on the incident was Red pitcher Amir Garrett, who 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.”
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.
— CountOnAG (@Amir_Garrett) August 20, 2020