The Cincinnati Reds have suspended broadcaster Thom Brennaman for using an anti-gay slur on air Wednesday night, and the team has apologized for the “horrific, homophobic remark.”
Brennaman has been suspended from working Cincinnati’s games following last night’s game when he used the slur moments after the Fox Sports Ohio feed returned from a commercial break before the top of the seventh inning in the first game of a doubleheader against the Kansas City Royals.
Brennaman was taken off the broadcast in the fifth inning of the second game, with his duties being taken over by play-by-play man Jim Day.
Brennaman later apologized.
“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.”
Fox Sports Ohio issued a statement apologizing and saying that Brennaman’s remark was “hateful, offensive and in no way reflects the values” of the network.
Brennaman addressed the slur during the live broadcast just before he was taken off the air.
“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 spoke again following the game, saying “To the LGBTQ community just know I am with you, and whoever is against you, is against me,” according to Reds reliever Amir Garrett. “I’m sorry for what was said today.”
“I can’t begin to tell you how deeply sorry I am,” Brennaman said. “That is not who I am and never has been. I like to think maybe I could have some people who can back that up. I am very, very sorry and I beg for your forgiveness.”
Thom is the son of Hall of fame broadcaster Marty Brennaman, who also spoke about the slur.
“As a dad I hurt for him” Marty said, according to the Inquirer. What he said is not a reflection of who Thom Brennaman is. I know that’s not him. But I also feel terrible for the people the comment offended.”