Thom Brennaman, who has worked for Fox Sports for nearly 30 years, said in an apology Wednesday that he was "deeply ashamed" of the remark. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 20 (UPI) -- The Cincinnati Reds have suspended broadcaster Thom Brennaman after he uttered a homophobic slur, which aired live during the team's game against the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday.
The incident occurred just after Fox Sports Ohio's broadcast of the first game of a doubleheader returned from a commercial break. A clip of the slur circulated on social media before Brennaman apologized on air during the second game of the doubleheader.
"The Cincinnati Reds organization is devastated by the horrific, homophobic remark made this evening by broadcaster Thom Brennaman," the Reds said late Wednesday. "He was pulled off the air, and effective immediately was suspended from doing Reds broadcasts."
Brennaman left the broadcast and fellow play-by-play announcer Jim Day took over for the remainder of the game.
"We will be addressing our broadcasting team in the coming days," the Reds added. "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 and 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."
Some Reds players also responded.
"To the LGBTQ community just know I am with you, and whoever is against you, is against me," Reds pitcher Amir Garrett tweeted. "I'm sorry for what was said [Wednesday]."
"LGBTQ community, as a member of the Reds organization, I am so sorry for the way you were marginalized tonight," Reds pitcher Matt Bowman tweeted. "There will always be a place for you in the baseball community and we are so happy to have you here."
Fox Sports Ohio said in a statement it agrees with the Reds' decision to suspend Brennaman.
On Thursday, Fox Sports went a step further and said Brennaman would no longer be part of its NFL broadcasting team this season due to the slur.
"Fox Sports is extremely disappointed with Thom's remarks during Wednesday's telecast," the network said in a statement. "The language used was abhorrent, unacceptable, and not representative of the values of Fox Sports. ... We are moving forward with our NFL schedule, which will not include him."
Brennaman, 56, has worked for Fox Sports for nearly three decades and had been part of the network's NFL announcer lineup since it started televising the league in 1994. In his apology, he said he was "deeply ashamed" of the remark.
Brennaman also wrote an apology for the Cincinnati Enquirer on Thursday, saying that what he uttered is "something no one should ever say." He said he plans to take part "in diversity, equity and inclusion training."
JT Riddle (L) of the Pittsburgh Pirates greets teammate Jacob Stallings after Stallings' home run against the Milwaukee Brewers in Pittsburgh on Saturday. The Pirates defeated the Brewers 12-5. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo