Reds broadcaster Thom Brennaman apologized on the air for his homophobic slur.
Prejudices and bigotry have a funny way of eventually revealing themselves — no matter how long you’ve been in the business as a live broadcaster, one mistake on the air is all it takes for a career to go up in flames.
Cincinnati Reds broadcaster Thom Brennaman is about to find that out the hard way, though his choice of words on Wednesday night could hardly be classified as a “mistake.”
After coming back from a commercial break before the Reds’ road game against the Kansas City Royals, Brennaman was heard saying “One of the [EXPLETIVE] capitals of the world” on a hot mic in reference to KC.
Thom Brennaman finally apologized for the incident on the broadcast
It wasn’t long before his name was trending on MLB Twitter because of it, with dozens of people demanding he be fired over this inexplicable and unprovoked homophobic slur. By the top of the fifth inning, the public outcry could no longer be ignored and Brennaman addressed the issue on the air with an apology:
“I made a comment earlier tonight that I guess went out over the air that I am deeply ashamed of. 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…”
In a bizarre moment, Brennaman then cut away from his apology to continue covering the game, saying, “…as there’s a drive into deep left field by Castellanos. It will be a home run. So that will make it a 4-0 ball game.”
He then returned to his apology, saying:
“I don’t know if I’m gonna be putting on this headset again. I don’t know if it’s gonna be for the Reds, I don’t know if it’s gonna be for my bosses at FOX. 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. That is not who I am. It 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.”
Jim Day took over the rest of the broadcast from that point onward.
While it seemingly takes a lot to address this kind of ugly situation and look into the camera as he’s doing so, that’s the least accountable thing he could’ve done after letting that kind of foul, homophobic language slip out of his mouth — on air or not. The fact that he cut away from his apology to continue calling the game, and then went on to vouch for himself and basically make his case for prospective future employers makes the situation worse.
Thom Brennaman’s apology seems sincere on the surface, and no doubt he feels bad after getting caught, but it ultimately came off as misguided, and it certainly won’t spare him after this ugly incident went viral.