The Cincinnati Reds' iconic play-by-play announcer Tom Brennaman has been suspended indefinitely Wednesday after a video surfaced of him using a homophobic slur on a hot mic earlier that day in advance of the first game of a double header.
During the second game, Brennaman delivered an apology straight to camera, in which he acknowledged his career may well be over.
Thom Brennaman's apology was interrupted by a home run https://t.co/tET1l8s4H0— EgotasticSports (@EgotasticSports)1597886792.0
While announcing the game, Brennaman looked directly into the camera and acknowledged the gravity of what he'd said.
"If I have hurt anyone out there, I can't tell you how much I say from the bottom of my heart, I am so very, very sorry…"
"I don't know if I'll be putting on this headset again. I don't know if it'll be for the Reds, I don't know if it's going to be for my bosses at Fox, I want to apologize to the people that sign my paycheck — for the Reds, for Fox Sports Ohio, for the people I work with, for anybody I've offended tonight … I beg for your forgiveness."
Brennaman was removed from the broadcast shortly thereafter, as clips of his comments began circulating on social media.
The comment in question came during live announcements for the Reds pregame show, in which Brennaman was heard saying "One of the f*g capitals of the world." Warning: This video contains the uncensored slur.
Thom Brennaman (reds play by play announcer) just casually drops a huge homophobic slur live on air without realizi… https://t.co/IpEzBXhdXq— Big Game Bengal (@Big Game Bengal)1597881707.0
It's unknown what Brennaman was referring to or the context in which the comment came.
In a statement, the Cincinnati Reds said they were "devastated" by Brennaman's remark, which they called "horrific."
https://t.co/cdmmqsGjlg— Cincinnati Reds (@Cincinnati Reds)1597895171.0
It was a sentiment shared by some of its players, who took to Twitter to make clear where they stood on the issue of supporting the LGBTQ community.
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.— CountOnAG (@CountOnAG)1597890823.0
LGBTQ+ community, as a member of the Reds organization, I am so sorry for the way you were marginalized tonight. Th… https://t.co/XxIOQwE6EQ— Matt Bowman (@Matt Bowman)1597889098.0
And many others on Twitter were equally outraged.
Thom Brennaman’s job is literally center around spoken words. His language is his craft. There is no excuse for eve… https://t.co/e1q1Vh4e7t— Wooooo™ (@Wooooo™)1597882484.0
@Reds “Zero tolerance policy” Look, I’m not a believer in “cancel culture” and I mostly believe in second chances.… https://t.co/djb7QeBiNx— Zach Berman (@Zach Berman)1597895405.0
RE Brennaman's apology: I loathe the "man of faith" line -it's a weak/canned bit for every mea culpa -it's an unden… https://t.co/f2pXoGRvzi— Stephen Nelson (@Stephen Nelson)1597888468.0
could people who get caught using slurs stop saying “this is not who I am.” It *is* who you are, you just happened… https://t.co/1Nvn8YjnhE— Britni de la Cretaz (@Britni de la Cretaz)1597887875.0
And many LGBTQ professionals in sports, as well as fans, spoke out about their experiences with homophobia in sports.
@Reds Thank you, atReds. That thanks extends to the rest of the organization too. As one of, it feels like, very fe… https://t.co/tfeJUFF7yv— Mark A. Kreutzer (@Mark A. Kreutzer)1597895260.0
And, of course, there were a few jokes at Brennaman's expense.
And just like that Thom Brennaman has been announced as a speaker at the Republican National Convention. Congrats!— Corey (@Corey)1597881352.0
So Long and Thanks for all the Homophobic Slurs, Thom Brennaman https://t.co/M1HgFaAaRy via @deadspin— Deadspin (@Deadspin)1597883586.0
Seriously, Thom Brennaman calling a Home Run in the middle of a career altering apology is unintentionally the funn… https://t.co/5byGAUO48t— Big Cat (@Big Cat)1597886684.0
Brennaman is the son of legendary sportscaster Marty Brennaman. He has been broadcasting for the Cincinnati Reds since 2006.