Cincinnati Reds broadcaster Thom Brennaman apologizes for anti-gay slur on-air

"The simple fact is, what I said was wrong," announcer Thom Brennaman wrote in an apology published in the Cincinnati Enquirer.
/ Source: TODAY

Cincinnati Reds play-by-play announcer Thom Brennaman has offered an apology for saying "something no one should ever say" after he was caught on a hot mic using an anti-gay slur during a television broadcast.

Brennaman, 56, also apologized on air during a Fox Sports Ohio broadcast on Wednesday after being heard using the derogatory term in between innings of a game against the Kansas City Royals.

Cincinnati Reds television broadcaster Thom Brennaman wrote an apology after being caught on a hot mic uttering an anti-gay slur during a game against the Kansas City Royals. Joe Robbins / Getty Images

The broadcaster, who has been suspended by the Reds, followed by writing an apology in the Cincinnati Enquirer.

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"As many of you know, I said something hateful on the air Wednesday night, something no one should ever say," he wrote. "Something that no one should ever think. Something that no one should ever feel. Something no one should ever hear.

"I could to try to explain it or tell you about who I am and what I believe, but those things would all be excuses. The simple fact is, what I said was wrong."

Late in the first game of Wednesday's doubleheader, Brennaman was heard saying a place was "the f-- capital of the world." He apologized in the fifth inning of the second game before signing off the air.

Brennaman received some criticism for his on-air apology, in which he did not say that he was wrong, instead saying that he was sorry "for anybody I've offended here tonight."

He was suspended by the Reds for his comments and let go by Fox Sports from his job as a veteran NFL play-by-play man.

"Fox Sports is extremely disappointed with Thom Brennaman’s remarks during Wednesday’s Cincinnati Reds telecast,” the network said in a statement. "The language used was abhorrent, unacceptable, and not representative of the values of Fox Sports. As it relates to Brennaman’s Fox NFL role, we are moving forward with our NFL schedule which will not include him."

Brennaman has been broadcasting Reds games for 14 years and is the son of Marty Brennaman, who was the Reds' radio play-by-play voice from 1974 until 2019.

"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."

"I cannot erase what I have done," Brennaman wrote in the Enquirer. "The only thing I can do is humbly apologize, accept the consequences of my actions and resolve to be better and behave differently from now on.

"To the LGBTQ+ community – I am truly and deeply sorry. You should never be denigrated with crude and hateful language. I failed you, and I cannot say enough how sorry I am."

Brennaman also apologized to the Reds and Major League Baseball before writing that he is going to "start improving my understanding of LGBTQ+ issues."

"Regardless of what my future holds in broadcasting, my actions have forced me to reflect on who I am and how I want to be seen and thought of," he wrote. "I realize it is more important than ever for us to treat each other with dignity and respect. I need to be a better and I must set a better example.

"I hope the LGBTQ+ community, the Reds and their fans and the people of Cincinnati can find a way to think better of me. With all the humility I can muster, I ask for your forgiveness."