CINCINNATI, Ohio (WCMH) — Cincinnati Reds and Fox Sports Ohio announcer Thom Brennaman has been suspended for using a homophobic slur during a live TV broadcast Wednesday.
Brennaman was getting ready to introduce the Reds pre-game show when the announcer, off camera, said, “one of the (expletive) capitals of the world” referring to Kansas City where the team was playing a doubleheader.
Thom Brennaman apologized on air shortly after 9:00 p.m. while calling a Reds’ home run in the 5th inning. After the apology, he was replaced by Reds and FOX Sports Ohio broadcaster Jim Day.
“I made a comment tonight that I am deeply ashamed of. I am so very, very sorry. I pride myself and think of myself as a man of faith,” Brennaman said. “I don’t know if I’ll be putting on this headset again . . . 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 and never has been.”
Major League Baseball was aware of the incident but did not have an immediate comment.
The Reds announced shortly before midnight Wednesday that Brennaman is suspended effective immediately. The team also released the following 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.Cincinnati Reds statement
FOX Sports Ohio announced it agrees with the Reds decision to suspend Brennaman until further notice.
The language that Thom Brennaman used this evening is hateful, offensive, and in no way reflects the values of FOX Sports Ohio. We agree with the Reds decision to suspend him until further notice.FOX Sports Ohio statement
Reds reliever Amir Garrett tweeted about Brennaman’s words shortly after the end of the second game:
Brennaman and the Reds announcers were working from Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, even though the doubleheader against the Royals was in Kansas City. Remote broadcasts have become the norm in the baseball this year because of coronavirus protocols.
The son of Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Brennaman, Thom has called major league games for 33 years and has been with Fox Sports for the past 27, covering primarily baseball and football.
“I am very, very sorry and I beg for your forgiveness,” Brennaman said during his apology.
Broadcast partner Chris Welsh told Brennaman: “You’re a good man, partner. Hang in there.”