Thom Brennaman Apologizes for Anti-Gay Slur: 'What I Said Was Wrong'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 20, 2020

FILE - In this Sept. 25, 2019, file photo, Cincinnati Reds broadcaster Thom Brennaman sits in a special outside booth before the Reds' baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers in Cincinnati. Brennaman used a gay slur during the broadcast of Cincinnati's game against the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020. Brennaman used the slur moments after the Fox Sports Ohio broadcast returned from a commercial break before the seventh inning in the first game of a doubleheader. Brennaman did not seem to realize he was already on air. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
John Minchillo/Associated Press

Sports broadcaster Thom Brennaman wrote an op-ed in the Cincinnati Enquirer apologizing for his use of an anti-gay slur during the Cincinnati Reds' 5-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday.

On the Fox Sports Ohio broadcast, Brennaman was heard referring to something as "one of the f-g capitals of the world."

"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," he wrote in Thursday's op-ed. "The simple fact is, what I said was wrong."

"I used a word that is both offensive and insulting. In the past 24 hours, I have read about its history; I had no idea it was so rooted in hate and violence and am particularly ashamed that I, someone who makes his living by the use of words, could be so careless and insensitive. It’s a word that should have no place in my vocabulary and I will certainly never utter it again."

Brennaman apologized on the air during the game before leaving the booth and handing play-by-play duties to broadcast partner Jim Day.

The Reds subsequently issued a statement condemning his remark and announced he has been suspended:

Cincinnati Reds @Reds


Reds relievers Amir Garrett and Matt Bowman addressed Brennaman's comment on social media:

CountOnAG @Amir_Garrett

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.

Matt Bowman @bowmandernchief

LGBTQ+ community, as a member of the Reds organization, I am so sorry for the way you were marginalized tonight. There will always be a place for you in the baseball community and we are so happy to have you here.

In addition to his work with the Reds, Brennaman works with Fox Sports for its coverage of the NFL season. USA Today's Chris Bumbaca shared a statement from Fox, which said he won't be a part of the network's broadcaster rotation for 2020.

The 56-year-old is the son of Marty Brennaman, who spent 46 years calling Reds games and was the winner of the Ford C. Frick Award in 2000.

Prior to joining the Reds in 2006, Brennaman called games for the Chicago Cubs and Arizona Diamondbacks.