KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Longtime Cincinnati broadcaster Thom Brennaman apologized Wednesday after using an anti-gay slur during a broadcast of the Reds’ game against the Kansas CIty Royals.
Update 3:58 p.m. EDT Aug. 20: Broadcaster Thom Brennaman was suspended from working the Cincinnati Reds’ baseball games after using an anti-gay slur on the air Wednesday night, prompting the team to apologize for the “horrific, homophobic remark.”
The Reds took Brennaman off the air during the fifth inning of the second game of a doubleheader against the Kansas City Royals, handing his duties to Jim Day.
“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 said in a statement it agreed with the suspension, adding that Brennaman’s remark was “hateful, offensive and in no way reflects the values” of the network.
Original report: Brennaman, 56, has called major league baseball games for 33 years. He used the slur in between innings, moments after the Fox Sports Ohio broadcast returned from a commercial break, ESPN reported. The broadcast was about to resume in the top of the seventh inning in the first game of a doubleheader.
Brennaman was caught on a hot microphone saying, “One of the (expletive) capitals of the world, according to a tweet by ESPN reporter Jeff Passan.
Major League Baseball said it was aware of Brennaman’s comments but did not have an immediate comment, ESPN reported. The Reds did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Brennaman, who remained on the air for the second game of the doubleheader, apologized on the air for his comment, saying that was “not who I am.”
“I made a comment earlier tonight that I guess went out over the air that I am deeply ashamed of,” Brennaman said. “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 don’t know if I’ll be putting on this headset again.”
The son of Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Brennaman, Thom Brennaman has been with Fox Sports for the past 27 years, covering primarily baseball and football, ESPN reported.