Cincinnati Reds broadcaster Thom Brennaman was caught using an anti-gay slur on a hot mic between innings of their game against the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night, something that stunned and angered plenty of fans on social media.
Brennaman, just before the seventh inning, called somewhere “the f-- capital of the world” and appeared to have no idea he was on air.
He remained on the air through the end of the first game of the double header and started into the second, though apologized in the fifth inning before he was removed from the broadcast. The Reds suspended him later on Wednesday night.
“I think of myself as a man of faith,” Brennaman said. “I don’t know if I’m going to be putting on this headset again. I don’t know if it’s going to 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 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 and it never has been. 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.”
Fans call for Brennaman’s job, criticize his awkward apology
Naturally, it didn’t take long for fans to start criticizing Brennaman and calling for his job on social media after the clip started circulating.
Many weren’t thrilled with his apology, either — especially since he awkwardly paused in the middle of it to call Nicholas Castellanos’ home run, something that made the situation even stranger.
There are dozens -- scores -- of broadcasters who have been idled due to the lack of a minor league season who would do a better job than Thom Brennaman even before you acknowledge that he's a homophobic piece of crap. Fire him and hire one of them, @FOXSportsCincy— Craig Calcaterra (@craigcalcaterra) August 20, 2020
A homer in the middle of an apology for using a homophobic slur on-air is surreal https://t.co/itDpJqElzU— CJ Fogler #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) August 20, 2020
also saying "that's not who I am" at the end of an apology actually negates the apology! it implies that you don't think the thing you're apologizing for requires any further self-examination. it is literally distancing yourself from the error instead of taking responsibility.— Hannah Keyser (@HannahRKeyser) August 20, 2020
This could be your last chance to ever see the face of a man who knows he's about to be fired make the saddest home run call imaginable and then leave. https://t.co/bYoUi8ocJU— Sam Mellinger (@mellinger) August 20, 2020
here's a drive by castellonos ... it will be a home run. and that will make it a 4 . nothing. ballgame ... I don't know if im gonna be putting on this headset again.— Mina (@maddc8) August 20, 2020
...quite the, ah, unique home run call https://t.co/fZRJ40Nhwr— Emma Baccellieri (@emmabaccellieri) August 20, 2020
So Thom Brennaman’s apology was calling a Nick Castellanos HR and saying he’s a man of faith?! pic.twitter.com/54cfXDJOL5— Patrick Schmidt (@PatrickASchmidt) August 20, 2020
on the one hand this is wild and on the other hand this apology is completely unrelated to his actual word choice and the people he targeted https://t.co/lObGLmrLpA— Meg Linehan (@itsmeglinehan) August 20, 2020
1. Pausing an apology to call a home run is unintentionally hilarious— Scott McLaughlin (@smclaughlin9) August 20, 2020
2. If you're that comfortable using a homophobic slur when the mic's off, it seems like that kinda is who you are. Slurs don't just accidentally come out of your mouth. They're there because you use/think them https://t.co/yOz1IEFCtZ
no way did this just happen, this is not real pic.twitter.com/6ou1BkAhYW— paco (@AllaireMatt) August 20, 2020
somehow, the first people he apologized to were his bosses, the last were "the people i have offended" and not once the people he slurred. https://t.co/T7b7gqtbNz— bomani (@bomani_jones) August 20, 2020
I WILL NOT FIX THIS SHOT— David Gardner (@byDavidGardner) August 20, 2020
Thom Brennaman starts apology, works in a home run call, finishes apology. One of the stranger moments in live sports TV. Known Thom casually a long time and he's been very nice to me ... but this is not good. https://t.co/TMHbwlI24U— Pat Forde (@ByPatForde) August 20, 2020
OMG, the dude literally just paused his apology to make a somber home run call, likely the last of his career. https://t.co/UhJ6mzmG5u— Kevin Kaduk, Midway Minute (@KevinKaduk) August 20, 2020
“That is not who I am,” says the guy who felt comfortable enough dropping slurs at work in mixed company, and then, incredibly, says he hopes his co-workers will stick up for him. https://t.co/nFFcjDnl5O— Mike Finger (@mikefinger) August 20, 2020
To add even more to the incident, Castellanos’ home run landed right in front of the Planet Fitness “Judgement-Free Zone” sign handing in the outfield bleachers.
nick castellanos hit a homer directly into the “judgement-free zone” WHILE thom brennaman was apologizing on the air for his homophobic comment oh my god pic.twitter.com/U8HuptyAxZ— Lucas Dolengowski (@LDolengowski) August 20, 2020
Brennaman stopping to announce a home run — THAT GETS HIT INTO AN OUTFIELD AREA CALLED THE JUDGMENT FREE ZONE — in the middle of an apology that never actually apologizes to the group of people he’s hurt with his words, is one of the most cringeworthy things I’ve seen. https://t.co/CCFkUmx1Qq— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) August 20, 2020
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