Will Sports Announcer Make Comeback After Caught Saying Gay Slur?

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Friday October 23, 2020

Cincinnati Reds broadcaster Thom Brennaman sits in a special outside booth before the Reds' baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers in Cincinnati.
Cincinnati Reds broadcaster Thom Brennaman sits in a special outside booth before the Reds' baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers in Cincinnati.  (Source:AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Don't count sports announcer Thom Brennaman out for good following his resignation after he was caught on a hot mic uttering an anti-gay slur, says Cincinnati Reds President Phil Castellini.

"I absolutely expect that we will all see Thom somewhere again as a broadcaster of live sports," Castellini opined in comments made to the Cincinnati Enquirer, NJ .com reports.

"It was just an all-around tragic situation," Castellini told theCincinnati Enquirer. "It's something that shouldn't be thought, much less said out aloud. Thom knows that. We all know that."

Castellini went on to add: "He knew exactly what the organization had to do and why. We were at the end of a contract year. That's when he came to us and said, 'I think I need to move on and repair my own damage done.' He's done a ton of that and is making a lot of great relationships.

He's certainly had an eye-opening, soul-searching experience of his own. You will see Thom back in a broadcast booth."

Brennaman's 27-year career with Fox Sports as the announcer for the Reds came to an end after he was heard on-air talking about "one of the fag capitals of the world." His words were broadcast mid-comment as the sports broadcast resumed following a commercial break.

As reported at the time, the comment went out over the air at the start of the seventh inning of the first game of an Aug. 19 doubleheader. Brennaman acknowledged the gravity of the gaffe a couple of hours later, just as the fifth inning of the second game was about to commence, telling listeners, "I don't know if I'm going to be putting on this headset again."

He also tendered an apology, saying, "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 am very, very sorry."

Brennaman went off the air at that point, with Jim Day taking over as the game's fifth inning commenced. He was initially suspended, but just over a month later he announced his resignation, saying, "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 added: "I am grateful for the forgiveness so many have extended to me, especially those in the LGBTQ community who I have met, spoken with and listened to almost daily over the last five weeks. With their continued guidance, I hope to be a voice for positive change."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

Comments on Facebook