Thom Brennaman, a play-by-play broadcaster who calls NFL games on FOX, was heard using a homophobic slur when he didn’t realize he was on the air while calling a Cincinnati Reds game on Wednesday night. He was immediately suspended from his baseball job, but there was no immediate word on whether he will keep his football job.
Brennaman said the words “One of the f-g capitals of the world” during the Reds broadcast. He apparently thought the broadcast was on a commercial break at the time, but he was live on the air. Shortly after, he apologized while the game was going on, just barely acknowledging a home run that was hit while he was speaking.
“I made a comment earlier tonight that I guess went out over the air that I am deeply ashamed of,” Brennaman said on the air. “If I have hurt anyone out there, I can’t tell you how much I say from the bottom of my heart that I am so very, very sorry. I pride myself and think of myself as a man of faith, as there’s a drive into deep left field by Castellanos, that will be a home run, and so that will make it a 4-0 ballgame. 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, it never has been, and I’d like to think maybe I could have some people that could back that up. I am very, very sorry, and I beg for your forgiveness. Jim Day will take you the rest of the way home.”
With that, Brennaman left the booth before the game was over. The Reds announced that he is suspended for what the team called “the horrific, homophobic remark.” FOX has not commented.