Long-time Cincinnati Reds announcer Thom Brennaman was suspended by the Reds, after he made a homophobic slur while on-air Wednesday. Brennaman has been the Reds’ play-by-play announcer for FOX Sports Ohio since 2007. The incident occurred after a commercial break proceeding the fifth inning of the Reds’ doubleheader against the Royals.
Brennaman apologized during fifth inning of the night-cap. Additionally, he was removed from the game after he made his statement. The length of Brennaman’s suspension is still unknown.
Additionally, both the Reds and FOX Sports Ohio issued apologies to their viewers for Brennaman’s language.
“The language that Thom Brennaman used this evening is hateful, offensive, and in no way reflects the values of FOX Sports Ohio. We agree with the Reds’ decision to suspend him until further notice,” FOX Sports Ohio said in a statement.
What comes next for Brennaman?
While no one knows how long Brennaman is suspended for, it needs to be a lengthy dismissal. This is not an incident of just a mix-up of words that happened to be caught on a hot mic. Brennaman’s tone sounded very casual, which may indicate that he uses those types of slurs regularly. There are no excuses to use bigoted speech, ever. If Brennaman shows that he can change to be a better person, then he could eventually get another job as an announcer. However, his next gig should not be with FOX Sports Ohio or with the Cincinnati Reds organization.
In the meantime, Brennaman should be fired immediately. While people are allowed to make mistakes, his tone made it seem like he knew what he was saying and knew how offensive his language was. The Charlotte Hornets recently set an example by firing radio announcer John Focke after he sent out a tweet with the n-word in it. Focke claimed it was an auto-correct error, but the tweet revealed more about him as a person. Brennaman’s incident is extremely similar to Focke’s, but there’s no auto-correct for spoken words.
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