Longtime play-by-play man for the Cincinnati Reds Thom Brennaman was suspended indefinitely Wednesday and acknowledged his career might be over after video showed him using a homophobic slur on a hot mic earlier in the day.
Brennaman was pulled from the broadcast booth by the Reds after he said, “One of the f-g capitals of the world,” on the Fox Sports Ohio TV broadcast of the first game of a scheduled doubleheader between the Reds and Royals in Kansas City.
It was unclear what the 56-year-old was referring to. A few seconds passed before Brennaman, seemingly unaware his comment made the airwaves, recited a promo for the network’s pregame show.
Brennaman later was removed from the second game after videos of the incident made the rounds on social media, and issued an apology while looking directly into the camera for parts of it.
WARNING: This video contains graphic language
Longtime Cincinnati Reds announcer Thom Brennaman was caught on a hot mic saying “one of the fag capitals of the world.” He is currently announcing the second game of the Reds’ doubleheader against Kansas City. pic.twitter.com/Uwz07eRIKv
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 20, 2020
“I made a comment earlier tonight that, I guess, went out over the air, that I am deeply ashamed of,” Brennaman said during the fifth inning. “If I have hurt anyone out there, I can’t tell you how much I say from the bottom of my heart, I am so very, very sorry… I don’t know if I’ll be putting on this headset again. I don’t know if it’ll be for the Reds, I don’t know if it’s going to be for my bosses at Fox, I want to apologize to the people that sign my paycheck — for the Reds, for Fox Sports Ohio, for the people I work with, for anybody I’ve offended tonight.
The Reds in a statement said they were “devastated by the horrific, homophobic remark,” and would be addressing the broadcast booth in the coming days.
Brennaman’s broadcast partner, Chris Welsh, told him on the air, “You’re a good man, partner. Hang in there.” Fox Sports broadcaster Jim Day took over the play-by-play duties for the rest of the game.
MLB announcers this season are broadcasting road games remotely, usually from their home ballpark, due to coronavirus protocols. Brennaman and his team were working from Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.
Thom Brennaman's apology was interrupted by a home run pic.twitter.com/tET1l8s4H0
— EgotasticSports (@EgotasticSports) August 20, 2020
Reds pitcher Amir Garrett posted his support of the LBGTQ community on Twitter: “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.”
Brennaman is the son of Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Brennaman, and has been calling Reds game since 2006. Brennaman has also called NFL games for Fox.
The doubleheader marked Cincinnati’s first game back since an unidentified player tested positive for the coronavirus last week, which caused three postponements.
The Royals won the first game, 4-0, while the Reds won the nightcap, 5-0.