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Thom Brennaman, a longtime broadcaster for MLB's Cincinnati Reds, has been suspended by the club after being pulled off the air Wednesday night.
Brennaman, 56, was caught on a hot mic uttering a homophobic slur during a doubleheader with the Kansas City Royals.
The Reds apologized to the LGBTQ+ communities in Cincinnati and Kansas City and issued a statement announcing Brennaman's suspension, FOX 19 of Cincinnati reported.
“The Cincinnati Reds organization is devastated by the horrific, homophobic remark made this evening by broadcaster Thom Brennaman," the statement read. "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, organization or our fans. We share our sincerest apologies to the LGBTQ+ community in Cincinnati, Kansas City, all across the 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.”
Brennaman, who didn't realize the telecast was back from a commercial break, was caught saying, "one of the f– capitals of the world" between games of the doubleheader, FOX 19 reported. It was unclear what exactly he was referring to when he made the comment.
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Brennaman later issued an apology during the live broadcast of the second game of the doubleheader.
“I made a comment earlier tonight that I guess went out over the air that I am deeply ashamed of. 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," Brennaman said. "I pride myself and think of myself as a man of faith. … I don’t know if I’ll 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 apologize for the people who sign my paycheck for the Reds, for Fox Sports Ohio, and for the people I work with, and anybody I’ve offended here tonight."
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Brennaman added: "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 think maybe I can have some people that can back that up. I am very, very sorry. And I beg for your forgiveness.”
After his final words, Brennaman signed off and Jim Day resumed the live broadcast.
Major League Baseball was aware of the incident but did not have an immediate comment, according to the Associated Press.
Reds reliever Amir Garrett tweeted about Brennaman's words shortly after the end of the second game: “To the LGBTQ community just know I am with you, and whoever is against you, is against me,” he wrote. "I’m sorry for what was said today."
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Brennaman did national games for Major League Baseball on FOX from 1996 to 2014, and he’s also done play-by-play for the NFL on FOX. He’s been with Fox Sports for over 25 years, and he’s currently in his 13th year doing TV and radio for the Reds. He recently returned to the Reds full-time in 2019.
Brennaman's father, Marty Brennaman, was a legendary Reds announcer from 1974 until 2019.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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