Reds suspend broadcaster Thom Brennaman for ‘horrific, homophobic remark’ made on air

The Cincinnati Reds issued a statement condemning the ‘horrific, homophobic remark’ made on air by Fox Sports Ohio broadcaster Thom Brennaman during a game on Wednesday night.

Brennaman, 56, was removed from the broadcast during the top of the fifth inning of the second game of a doubleheader vs. the Kansas City Royals after issuing an apology for his use of an anti-gay slur. Once he was removed from the broadcast, he was immediately suspended from doing Reds broadcasts, the team said. The Reds said they will address the broadcast team in the coming days.

It appeared Brennaman did not know he was on the air when he made the comment before the top of the seventh inning of the first game of the doubleheader.

Brennaman, the son of Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Brennaman who retired after the 2019 season, joined the Reds broadcast team in 2007. Thom Brennaman also has called NFL games for Fox Sports.

“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 say how much I say from the bottom of my heart I am so very, very sorry. I pride myself and think of myself as a man of faith. … 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 going to be for my bosses at FOX. I’m going to apologize for the people who sign my paycheck, for the Reds, for Fox Sports Ohio, for the people I work with, for anybody I’ve offended her tonight. I can’t begin to tell you how deeply sorry I am.

“That is not who I am and never has been, and I’d like to think I have some people that can back that up. I am very very sorry, and I beg for your forgiveness. Jim Day will take you the rest of the way home.”

Fox Sports released the following statement after the game: “The language that Thom Brennaman used this evening is hateful, offensive, and in no way reflects the values of FOX Sports Ohio. We agree with the Reds’ decision to suspend him until further notice.”

Nick Castellanos hit a home run during the middle of Brennaman’s apology as the Reds built a 4-0 lead in the second game of the doubleheader. Day took over the broadcast at that point. The Reds lost the first game 4-0.

Reds relief pitcher Amir Garrett tweeted about Brennaman’s comments after a 4-0 Reds win in Game 2.

Chris Seelbach, Cincinnati City Council member, also reacted to Brennaman’s comment on Twitter.

“The Brennaman family are Cincinnati sports icons with a powerful voice in our community,” Seelbach wrote, “which makes it even more disgusting and totally unprofessional to hear such language used. The Reds have been proud supporters of their LGBTQ+ fans, and this language cannot be tolerated. Period. Cincinnati is leading the way for LGBTQ+ equality. We are on the right side of history and it’s incredibly disappointing to hear Mr. Brennaman use such language of hate when our country is begging for unity.”

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