Veteran baseball announcer issues grovelling apology after using disgusting homophobic slur live on air
An announcer for one of the US’ top baseball teams, Cincinnati Reds, issued a grovelling apology Wednesday (19 August) after he used a homophobic slur live on-air.
For the last 16 years, Thom Brennaman has been a regular sight for Major League Baseball fans, but left many “devastated” after using the slur after an advertisement break ended.
The 56-year-old used the slur after the Fox Sports Ohio feed returned from the break before the top of the seventh inning in the first game of a doubleheader at Kansas City, ESPN reported.
Broadcaster of nearly two decades Thom Brennaman calls Kansas City as ‘one of the fag capitals of the world’.
While on the hot mic and appearing to be unaware he was live, Brennaman referred to Kansas City as “one of the fag capitals of the world”. Seconds later, he snapped back and began reading promotion for the Reds Live Pregame Show.
Brennaman was swiftly suspended and taken off the feed in the fifth inning of the second game – handing over to fellow play-by-play man Jim Day – before apologising.
“I made a comment earlier tonight that I guess went out over the air that I am deeply ashamed of,” he said during the remote broadcast made from Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.
“If I’ve 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 don’t know if I’m going to be putting on this headset again,” he added, acknowledging his remark would like face reprisal from his employer.
His comment drew intense criticism from sports pundits as well as Cincinnati Reds and Fox Sports Ohio.
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“The Cincinnati Reds organisation is devastated by the horrific, homophobic remark made this evening by broadcaster Thom Brennaman,” the team said in a statement shared to ESPN.
“He was pulled off the air, and effective immediately was suspended from doing Reds broadcasts. We will be addressing our broadcasting team in the coming days.
“In no way does this incident represent our players, coaches, organisation, or our fans.
“We share our sincerest apologies to the LGBT+ community in Cincinnati, Kansas City, all across this country, and beyond. The Reds embrace a zero-tolerance policy for bias or discrimination of any kind, and we are truly sorry to anyone who has been offended.”
This was amplified by Fox Sports Ohio, which issued a statement agreeing with the move to suspend Brennaman and described his remark as “hateful, offensive and in no way reflects the values” of the network.