Thom Brennaman has been given the opportunity to resign from his longtime role as the Cincinnati Reds’ broadcaster after using an anti-gay slur on air last month.
Thom took the opportunity and announced he would be stepping away Friday.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) August 20, 2020
“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 said in a statement, ESPN reported. “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.”
In a statement shared by the team on Twitter Friday, Reds CEO Bob Castellini expressed support for Brennaman, calling him a “good man.”
“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’s statement said.
“The Brennaman family has been an intrinsic part of the Reds history for nearly 50 years,” Castellini’s statement continued. “We sincerely thank Thom for bringing the excitement of Reds baseball to millions of fans during his years in the booth. And, we appreciate the warm welcome Thom showed our fans at Redsfest and on the Reds Caravan. He is a fantastic talent and a good man who remains part of the Reds family forever. We wish him well.”
On August 19, during the broadcast of the Reds double-header against the Kansas City Royals on Fox Sports Ohio, Brennaman was caught using the offensive slur in an apparent hot mic moment.
The incident quickly gained attention online, and Brennaman was removed during the second game. He apologized before signing off.
“I made a comment earlier tonight that I guess went out over the air that I am deeply ashamed of,” he 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.”
The Reds said in a statement after the incident that the organization was “devastated by the horrific, homophobic remark” Brennaman made and announced he would be immediately suspended from broadcasting.
“In no way does this incident represent our players, coaches, organization, or our fans,” the statement said. “We share our sincerest apologies to the LGBTQ+ community in Cincinnati, Kansas City, all across this 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.”
Fox Sports Ohio also issued a statement at the time, saying that the network agreed with the Reds’ decision to suspend Brennaman.
“The language that Thom Brennaman used this evening is hateful, offensive, and in no way reflects the values of FOX Sports Ohio,” the statement said.
Pitchers Amir Garrett and Matt Bowman both spoke out against the on-air slur after the double-header.
“To the LGBTQ community just know I am with you, and whoever is against you, is against me. I’m sorry for what was said today,” Garrett wrote on Twitter at the time.
“LGBTQ+ community, as a member of the Reds organization, I am so sorry for the way you were marginalized tonight,” Bowman added in a tweet. “There will always be a place for you in the baseball community and we are so happy to have you here.”
He should’ve been fired.