Fox Sports is sidelining Thom Brennaman for the upcoming NFL season following a moment during Wednesday’s Cincinnati Reds baseball telecast in which the longtime announcer was heard using a homophobic word on a hot mic.
The company called Brennaman’s use of the slur “abhorrent, unacceptable, and not representative of the values of Fox Sports.”
“Fox Sports is extremely disappointed with Thom Brennaman’s remarks during Wednesday’s Cincinnati Reds telecast,” the company said in a full statement provided to TheWrap. “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.”
A person familiar with the matter told TheWrap that Fox Sports is “reviewing the situation internally.”
A Fox Sports spokesperson added that the company “will not comment on contract status.”
So Brennaman is suspended, not fired. For now at least.
Just before yesterday’s 7th inning, Brennaman appeared to be finishing a sentence that ended with “the f– capitals of the world.” He then immediately transitioned into a promo.
Brennaman was allowed to stick around to offer an on-air apology. He was then replaced on play by play.
“The Cincinnati Reds organization is devastated by the horrific, homophobic remark made this evening by broadcaster Thom Brennaman,” the Reds said in a statement after the game. “He was pulled off the air, and effective immediately was suspended from doing Reds broadcasts. We will be addressing our broadcasting team in the coming days.”
Readers can watch the moment — and Brennaman’s subsequent apology — here.
“I made a comment earlier tonight that I guess went out over the air that I am deeply ashamed of. 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,” his apology began. “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 gonna 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. That is not who I am. It never has been. And I’d like to think maybe I could have some people that could back that up. I am very, very sorry, and I beg for your forgiveness.”
Thom Brennaman has been with Fox Sports for 27 years and also serves as one of the network’s lead announcers for the NFL.