A broadcaster has been suspended after he said a homophobic slur on the air during the Cincinnati Reds vs. Kansas City Royals game Wednesday night.
As reported by TMZ, announcer Thom Brennaman uttered the hateful word before reading a promo for the Reds Live Pregame Show.
"One of the --- capitals of the world,” he said, apparently not realizing that his mic was on.
Though the context of his comment is unclear, the controversial clip circulated on social media within a matter of minutes.
Later in the broadcast, Brennaman — who has been working for the Reds since 2006 — issued an apology, saying he was “deeply ashamed of” his remarks.
"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. I pride myself and think of myself as a man of faith."
"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," he continued. "That is not who I am and never has been, and I'd like to think maybe I could have some people that can back that up. I am very, very sorry and I beg for your forgiveness."
Per People, Brennaman ended his shift early.
Wednesday night on Twitter, the Reds issued a statement condemning Brennaman’s “horrific” comments, and announced he was “suspended from doing Reds broadcasts” effective immediately.
“In no way does this incident represent our players, coaches, organization, or our fans. We share our sincerest apologies to the LGBTQ+ community in Cincinnati, Kansas City, all across this country, and beyond,” the statement read. "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 released a statement applauding the Reds’ decision to suspend Brennaman.
Statement from FOX Sports Ohio:— FOX Sports Cincinnati (@FOXSportsCincy) August 20, 2020
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. https://t.co/kL966OW6Gt
Additionally, Reds pitchers Amir Garrett and Matt Bowman wrote messages in solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community.
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.— CountOnAG (@Amir_Garrett) August 20, 2020
LGBTQ+ community, as a member of the Reds organization, I am so sorry for the way you were marginalized tonight. There will always be a place for you in the baseball community and we are so happy to have you here.— Matt Bowman (@bowmandernchief) August 20, 2020
Brennaman has been announcing MLB games since the '90s, and has worked major football events like the 2008 Sugar Bowl and the 2011 Pro Bowl.