A second apology for using an anti-gay slur on the air couldn’t save Thom Brennaman from losing one of his jobs.
The suspended Reds play-by-play man was also removed by Fox from its lineup of NFL broadcasters for this season. He was already suspended indefinitely from broadcasting Reds games by the team.
He was heard saying “one of the f-g capitals of the world” over a hot mic during a break in the action before continuing the first game of the Reds-Royals doubleheader on Wednesday night. It was unclear what he was referring to.
Brennaman apologized on the air before being replaced on the call of the second game by Jim Day. He expressed his remorse again in a letter to the editor in the Cincinnati Enquirer on Thursday.
“I hope the LGBTQ+ community, the Reds and their fans and the people of Cincinnati can find a way to think better of me,” he wrote. “With all the humility I can muster, I ask for your forgiveness.”
He wrote that what he said “was wrong,” he would “never utter it again” and that he “failed” the LGBTQ+ community. He immediately plans to participate in diversity, equity and inclusion training.
“I cannot say enough how sorry I am,” Brennaman wrote.
His contrition wasn’t enough for him to keep his NFL gig, with the season set to begin next month. The 56-year-old has been calling NFL and MLB games for Fox Sports since 1994 and the Reds since 2006, but he will find himself sidelined this football season.
“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.”
In his letter to the editor, Brennaman said his goal now is to show he is capable of learning from his mistakes and setting an example everyone associated with the Reds could be proud of. Chris Welsh, Brennaman’s broadcast partner, said on Wednesday’s broadcast, “You’re a good man, partner. Hang in there.”
Brennaman also apologized in the letter to the team and Major League Baseball. He is the son of Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Brennaman.
“Regardless of what my future holds in broadcasting, my actions have forced me to reflect on who I am and how I want to be seen and thought of,” Brennaman wrote. “I realize it is more important than ever for us to treat each other with dignity and respect. I need to be better and I must set a better example.”
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