Reds play-by-play announcer Thom Brennaman was caught on a hot mic using an anti-LGBTQ slur during Wednesday’s Reds doubleheader vs. the Royals.
In a clip that circulated on social media, Brennaman says, “One of the [anti-LGBTQ slur] capitals of the world” prior to previewing the second game in Wednesday’s doubleheader.
The incident occurred as the Fox Sports Ohio broadcast returned from a commercial break before the top of the seventh inning in the first game of the doubleheader.
Brennaman remained on air for the start of the second game, but he was removed mid-game from the broadcast. The Reds later released a statement apologizing for Brennaman’s comments, and said the announcer has been suspended indefinitely.
“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 ways 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.”
Brennaman offered an apology for his comments during the top of the fifth inning, after which he left the broadcast and was replaced by Jim Day.
“I made a comment earlier tonight that I guess went out over the air that I am deeply ashamed of,” Brennaman said. “If I 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’ll be putting on this headset again. I don’t know if it’s gonna be for the Reds, I don’t know if it’ll be for my bosses at FOX. I want to apologize to the people who sign my paycheck, to the Reds, to FOX Sports Ohio, to the people I work with or anybody that I’ve offended tonight,” Brennaman said. “I can’t begin to tell you how deeply sorry I am. That is not who I am, it never has been. And I’d like to think maybe I could have some people that could back that up. I am very, very sorry and I beg for your forgiveness.”
Brennaman paused during his apology to call Nicholas Castellanos’ home run to lead off the fifth inning, and then continued before turning the broadcast over to Day.
The full context of the audio is unclear and it is also unclear if Brennaman was aware that his microphone was on.
Reds pitcher Amir Garrett also offered an apology to fans on behalf of the organization, saying he stands with the LGBTQ community.
Three weeks ago, Brennaman mistakenly reported on a broadcast that former MLB All-Star outfielder Jack Clark had died. He later apologized for the error.
Brennaman attended high school in Cincinnati and Ohio University. He was hired as a Reds broadcaster in 2006 and has been with FOX Sports for the past 27 years, per the AP. His father, Marty Brennaman, was a longtime sports broadcaster who is best known for being the play-by-play voice of the Reds. In 2000, Marty Brennaman won the Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually by the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and he broadcast his final game on Sept. 26, 2019.
Thom, 56, is also a broadcaster for the NFL on FOX.
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