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Cincinnati Reds Broadcaster Resigns After Using Antigay Slur

Brennaman

The broadcaster for the Cincinnati Reds has resigned after using an antigay slur.

Thom Brennaman announced his departure in a Friday statement to WCPO, a local ABC affiliate.

“My family and I have decided that I am going to step away from my role as the television voice of the Cincinnati Reds,” Brennaman stated. “I would like to thank the Reds, Reds fans and the LGBTQ Community for the incredible support and grace they have shown my family and me."

"I have been in this profession that I love for 33 years," he added. "It is my hope and intention to return. And if I'm given that opportunity, I will be a better broadcaster and a much better person."

Brennaman, who had been with the Reds since 2006 and whose father was Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Brennaman, was suspended following the August 19 incident. In a statement, Reds CEO Bob Castellini mentioned this legacy.

“The Reds respect Thom Brennaman’s decision to step away from the broadcast booth and applaud his heartfelt efforts of reconciliation with the LGBTQ+ community,” Castellini said in a statement, reports the Associated Press.

“The Brennaman family has been an intrinsic part of the Reds history for nearly fifty years. We sincerely thank Thom for bringing the excitement of Reds baseball to millions of fans during his years in the booth.”

For the majority of his career, Brennaman has worked as a commentator on pro football and Major League Baseball with Fox Sports, which announced in August that it "will not include" Brennaman in its NFL schedule. The network called his remarks “abhorrent, unacceptable, and not representative of the values of Fox Sports," it said in a statement.

During an August game between the Reds and the Kansas City Royals, Brennaman described a place as "one of the fag capitals of the world." It sparked immediate calls for his termination on social media.

It's not clear what Brennaman was referring to when his utterance was caught on his hot mike, and it seemed he did not realize he was on the air. Regardless, viewers were incensed and Brennaman was pressured to issue an on-air apology, which he almost immediately flubbed.

In the middle of his apology, Brennaman announced a home run, again infuriating some viewers. "I made a comment earlier tonight that I guess went out over the air that I am deeply ashamed of," Brennaman began. "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."

Then after announcing the home run, he added, "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 for 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."

Brennaman's remark is happily an outlier in Major League Baseball. Outsports reports that since 2016, no MLB player has used an antigay slur on air.

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