The Reds announced later Wednesday that Brennaman has been suspended effective immediately from doing team broadcasts.
Brennaman used the slur moments after the Fox Sports Ohio broadcast returned from a commercial break before the top of the seventh inning of the first game of a doubleheader. Brennaman did not seem to realize he was already on air.
Brennaman remained on air during the second game until the top of the fifth inning, when he spoke directly to the camera before handing off play-by-play duties to Jim Day.
“I made a comment earlier tonight that I guess went out over the air that I am deeply ashamed of,” Brennaman 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 don’t know if I’m going to be putting on this headset again. I don’t know if it’s going to be for the Reds. I don’t know if it’s going to be for my bosses at Fox. I will apologize to 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.”
The Reds said in their statement that they were “devastated by the horrific, homophobic remark” made by Brennaman.
“In no way does this incident represent our players, coaches, organization, or our fans,” the team said. “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.”
Major League Baseball was aware of the incident but did not have an immediate comment.
Reds reliever Amir Garrett tweeted about Brennaman’s words shortly after the end of the second game:
“To the LGBTQ community just know I am with you, and whoever is against you, is against me,” he wrote. “I’m sorry for what was said today.”
Matt Bowman, another Cincinnati relief pitcher, also tweeted in support of the LGBTQ community, writing, “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.”
Brennaman and the Reds announcers were working from Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, even though the doubleheader against the Royals was in Kansas City, Missouri. Remote broadcasts have become the norm in baseball this year because of coronavirus protocols.
The son of Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Brennaman, Thom, 56, has called major league games for 33 years and has been with Fox Sports for the past 27, covering primarily baseball and football.
“I can’t begin to tell you how deeply sorry I am,” Brennaman said. “That is not who I am. It never has been. And I’d like to think maybe I could have some people that could back that up. I am very, very sorry and I beg for your forgiveness.”
After Brennaman signed off, broadcast partner Chris Welsh told him: “You’re a good man, partner. Hang in there.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.