The Cincinnati Reds have suspended the team’s play-by-play announcer after a hot microphone captured him uttering a homophobic slur during a live broadcast Wednesday. Veteran announcer Thom Brennaman, can be heard referring to an unnamed place as “one of the f** capital of the world” during a break in a double-header between the Reds and the Kansas City Royals.
“I made a comment tonight I guess went out over the air that I am deeply ashamed of,” Brennaman said later during the broadcast. “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. I pride myself and think of myself as a man of faith.” He then interrupted his own apology to announce a homerun.
Brennaman has been announcing games for the Reds since 2006. He has also worked on other events for Fox Sports, including the NCAA’s BCS Championship among others.
"I don't know if I'm going to be putting on this headset again," Brennaman continued his apology after taking a few moments to announce a Reds homerun on the field. "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.
Reaction was swift to Brennaman’s slur. The Reds quickly announced a suspension of the veteran broadcaster.
Reds pitcher Amir Garrett made clear where he stands on the matter.
Sadly, though, the comments on Garrett’s post reflect a disturbing level of intolerance and homophobic bigotry as well. “I’m not against them as human beings,” read one. “I’m against their life style.”
This is not the first such controversy surrounding the Red organization. Notorious racist and homophobic former owner Marge Schott was barred from club operations by Major League Baseball after it was learned she routinely made bigoted remarks and had a policy of not hiring Black employees in the front office. She referred to two of her starting players as “million dollar n****rs,” said she’d “rather have a trained monkey working” for her, and forbade her players from wearing earrings because “only fruits were earrings.” She later said the remarks were in jest, but was eventually forced by her fellow owners to sell the team.
Brennaman’s homophobic slur can be heard in the video below.