Cincinnati Reds broadcaster Thom Brennaman was heard using a homophobic slur during a live broadcast on Wednesday, sparking a public apology and prompting calls for the longtime play-by-play man to be fired.
As The New York Post reported, the television broadcaster was heard using the slur just before the Fox Sports Ohio TV broadcast of a game between Cincinnati and the Kansas City Royals began after a break.
“One of the f-g capitals of the world,” Brennaman was heard saying.
The video very quickly found its way to social media, being uploaded to Twitter and racking up thousands of views. Brennaman’s name also shot to the top of Twitter trends on Wednesday, with many calling for him to be fired.
Some local leaders spoke out on his use of the slur as well. As WLWT reported, Cincinnati city council member Chris Seelbach released a statement noting that the Brennaman family are sports icons with a powerful voice in the area, which made the incident “event more disgusting and totally unprofessional.” Thom Brennaman is the son of longtime Reds radio sportscaster Marty Brennaman.
Seelbach added that the organization has been supportive of its LGBTQ+ fans, noting that the language used during Wednesday’s game could not be tolerated.
Brennaman later left the booth during the second game of the planned doubleheader, the report noted, but not before making a public apology. During the fifth inning, Brennaman delivered an emotional apology in which he said he was “deeply ashamed” of the statement he had made, acknowledging that he may lose his job because of it.
“I don’t know if I’ll 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 going to be for my bosses at Fox, I want to apologize for 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,” he said. “I can’t begin to tell you how deeply sorry I am. That is not who I am, it never has been. I’d like to thank that I have some people that could back that up.”
no way did this just happen, this is not real pic.twitter.com/6ou1BkAhYW
— paco (@AllaireMatt) August 20, 2020
Brennaman then turned over the broadcast to fellow Fox Sports Ohio broadcaster Jim Day to call the remainder of the game. It was not yet clear whether he could face disciplinary action for the incident. The team has not yet released a statement on the incident.