Thom Brennaman, a longtime announcer for the Cincinnati Reds, was suspended after he was caught saying a homophobic slur during the first game of a doubleheader on Wednesday. In the fifth inning of the second game of the night, Brennaman apologized for the slur. He then exited the broadcast for the night; later, the Reds announced he was suspended from calling games.
The incident happened before the seventh inning while the Reds game against the Kansas City Royals came back from a commercial break. Brennaman appeared to be finishing a sentence that ended with "the f— capital of the world." What led him to say the remark is unknown.
"I made a comment earlier tonight that I guess went out over the air that I am deeply ashamed of. 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," Brennaman said later during the second game of the doubleheader. In the middle of his apology, which came during an at-bat, Nick Castellanos hit a home run, leading Brennaman to call the home run and continue with his apology.
"I don't know if I'm going to be putting on this headset again. I don't know if it's going to be for the Reds. I don’t know if it's gonna be for my bosses at Fox. I want to apologize for the people who sign my paycheck – for the Reds, for Fox Sports Ohio, for the people I work with, for anybody that I've offended here tonight. I can’t begin to tell you how deeply sorry I am. That is not who I am. It never has been."
On late Wednesday night, the Reds released a statement announcing the suspension of Brennaman. "The Cincinnati Reds organization is devastated by the horrific, homophobic remark made this evening by broadcaster Thom Brennaman," the team said. He was pulled off the air, and effective immediately was suspended from doing Reds broadcasts. We will be addressing our broadcast team in the coming days." The Reds went on to apologize to the "LGBTQ+ community in Cincinnati, Kansas City and all across the country and beyond."
Brennaman, 56, has been with Fox Sports for 27 years. From 1996 to 2014, he called MLB on FOX games for Fox Saturday Baseball Game of the Week. He has spent 33 years calling baseball games and 15 years with the Reds. He's also been a play-by-play announcer for college football and NFL games for Fox.