Thom Brennaman will no longer broadcast NFL games on FOX Sports after he used a homophobic slur on the air while calling a baseball game, the network announced Thursday.
Brennaman, 56, was suspended as the Cincinnati Reds’ play-by-play voice after he made a comment on Fox Sports Ohio while apparently thinking his microphone was off. The Reds were playing the first game of a doubleheader in Kansas City, which he described as “one of the (expletive) capitals of the world” as a camera spanned the field before the top of the seventh inning.
“FOX Sports is extremely disappointed with Thom’s remarks during Wednesday’s Cincinnati Reds telecast,” the network said in a statement. “The language used was abhorrent, unacceptable, and not representative of the values of FOX Sports. As it relates to Brennaman’s FOX NFL role, we are moving forward with our NFL schedule which will not include him.”
The clip of Brennaman’s comment quickly went viral on social media. Brennaman remained on the broadcast for the remainder of Game 1 of the doubleheader and the start of Game 2, but he apologized in the top of the fifth inning of the second game before being replaced by Jim Day, who typically works as the broadcast team’s on-field reporter.
“I made a comment earlier tonight, that, I guess, went out over the air, that I am deeply ashamed of,” Brennaman said. “If I have 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. I pride myself and think of myself as a man of faith. ...
“I don’t know if I’m going to be putting on this headset again. I don’t 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’m going 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 who could back that up. I am very, very sorry, and I beg for your forgiveness.”
The son of legendary broadcaster Marty Brennaman, Thom has called Major League Baseball games for 33 years and has been with FOX Sports for the past 27.
--Field Level Media
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