Reds Announcer Uses Homophobic Slur on Air, Signs Off With Pathetic Apology

Thom Brennaman has been suspended by the team for what he said

Cincinnati Reds broadcaster Thom Brennaman looks on prior to a 2017 game. (Joe Robbins/Getty)
Cincinnati Reds broadcaster Thom Brennaman looks on prior to a 2017 game. (Joe Robbins/Getty)
Joe Robbins/Getty

After using an anti-gay slur on the air on Wednesday night on a hot microphone he didn’t realize was on, Cincinnati Reds broadcaster Thom Brennaman has been suspended from working the team’s games.

Brennaman used the slur moments after a commercial break before the top of the seventh inning in the first game of a doubleheader against the Kansas City Royals and obviously did not seem to realize he was already on air. But, it seems incredibly unprofessional to be using language like that anywhere near a microphone or having the type of conversation that was being had.

The 56-year-old later apologized in the fifth inning of the second game … and interrupted himself in the middle to continue calling the game that was unfolding in front of him, including a home run by Cincinnati’s Nick Castellanos.

Following the apology, Brennaman handed off play-by-play duties and began serving his suspension immediately.

“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 don’t know if I’m going to be putting on this headset again.”

Brennaman went on to apologize to the Reds, Fox Sports and his coworkers, but did not directly acknowledge the LGBTQ+ community.

In their apology for Brennaman’s actions, the Reds did not omit doing that.

“The Cincinnati Reds organization is devastated by the horrific, homophobic remark made this evening by broadcaster Thom Brennaman,” the team said in a statement. “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.”

Alternate play-by-play man Jim Day took over the broadcast after Brennaman departed from the booth, possibly for good.

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