Broadcaster Thom Brennaman Apologizes as Cincinnati Reds Suspend Him for On-Air 'Homophobic Remark'
The Cincinnati Reds have suspended broadcaster Thom Brennaman after he said an anti-gay slur while on-air.
On Wednesday, the sports announcer, 56, was overheard during the Reds game against the Kansas City Royals saying, "One of the f-- capitals of the world," at a commercial break. The context of the comment is unknown.
Later in the Fox Sports broadcast, Brennaman went on to apologize for saying the slur on-air while briefly continuing to announce the baseball game, before stepping away early for the night.
"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'm so very, very sorry. I pride myself and think of myself as a man of faith."
"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," he continued. "That is not who I am and never has been, and I'd like to think maybe I could have some people that can back that up. I am very, very sorry and I beg for your forgiveness."
In a statement, the Reds said Brennaman was suspended from covering their games "effective immediately."
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“The Cincinnati Reds organization is devastated by the horrific, homophobic remark made this evening by broadcaster Thom Brennaman,” read the statement. “He was pulled off the air, and effective immediately was suspended from doing Reds broadcasts.”
“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 statement continued. "TheReds 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 its own statement, condemning the slur as "hateful, offensive." The network added: "We agree with the @Reds decision to suspend him until further notice."
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Several Reds players spoke out after the on-air slur, voicing their support of the LGBTQ community and distancing themselves from Brennaman's sentiment.
"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," tweeted pitcher Amir Garrett.
"LGBTQ+ community, as a member of the Reds organization, I am so sorry for the way you were marginalized tonight. There will always be a place for you in the baseball community and we are so happy to have you here," wrote pitcher Matt Bowman on Twitter.