Steve Gardner, USA TODAY
Published 4:30 p.m. ET Aug. 20, 2020 | Updated 4:37 p.m. ET Aug. 20, 2020
Fox Sports’ NFL broadcasts this season will not include Thom Brennaman as one of the play-by-play announcers. The network made the announcement Thursday, less than 24 hours after Brennaman used a homophobic slur on a live microphone during a telecast of a Cincinnati Reds baseball game.
The Reds suspended Brennaman indefinitely from their TV broadcasts, and Fox’s action came shortly thereafter.
“The language used was abhorrent, unacceptable, and not representative of the values of Fox Sports,” the network said in a statement. “As it relates to Brennaman’s Fox NFL role, we are moving forward with our NFL schedule which will not include him.”
Brennaman, 56, issued an on-air apology during the Reds game Wednesday against the Kansas City Royals, acknowledging his career might be in jeopardy.
“I don’t know if I’m going to be putting on this headset again,” Brennaman said on Fox Sports Ohio. “I don’t know if it’s gonna 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.”
— Trevor Peters (@TrevorPetersTV) August 20, 2020
The incident occurred shortly before the start of the doubleheader’s second game as Brennaman was about to promote the pregame show for the nightcap.
A 17-second clip featuring audio of Brennaman using the slur — apparently unaware his microphone was on — spread quickly on social media as the hashtag #FireTom quickly began trending.
Late Wednesday night, the Reds also issued an apology and announced Brennaman was suspended indefinitely from its broadcasts.
“In no way does this incident represent our players, coaches, organization, or our fans,” the Reds said in a statement. “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.”
Brennaman, the son of Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Brennaman, has called Reds games on radio and television since 2007. He has also called MLB, NFL and college football games for Fox Sports since 1994.