Longtime sports broadcaster Thom Brennaman likely saw his career come to an end on Wednesday evening when he said a homophobic slur over a hot mic as the Cincinnati Reds broadcast was returning from a commercial break.
Brennaman, who has no one to blame but himself for saying such a thing, was pulled off the air in the fifth inning — including an incredibly bizarre moment in which his on-air apology was interrupted by him giving the world’s saddest home run call before continuing. The Reds announced shortly afterwards that Brennaman would be suspended, but many fans are calling for him to be replaced on the broadcast team, in large part because this isn’t something from his past that he’s apologizing for and can claim he’s grown from, as it was something he said literally a half hour before issuing an apology. The only thing he may have learned is the dangers of a hot microphone, not why what he said is abhorrent.
The Reds broadcast on Fox Sports Ohio is not Brennaman’s only job, as he calls NFL games for Fox Sports nationally. On Thursday, Fox Sports announced in a statement that Brennaman would no longer be calling NFL games for them, as they will move forward with their NFL plans without him, calling what he said “abhorrent and unacceptable.”
Who Fox will turn to now to fill that play-by-play role will be interesting, as national NFL broadcasting gigs don’t open very often and provide the biggest platform for a broadcaster. There will surely be plenty of people interested in the role and Brennaman now finds himself without at least one of his biggest jobs and no one to blame but himself.