Thom Brennaman apologises again for homophobic slur on air, says he didn’t know ‘f**’ was ‘rooted in hate and prejudice’

Cincinnati Reds television broadcaster Thom Brennaman. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Fox Sports announcer Thom Brennaman has issued a second apology for using a homophobic slur on air, having been educated on the history of “hate and prejudice” the word is rooted in.

Brennaman, who has been commentating on Major League Baseball games for over 30 years, was suspended on Wednesday after referring to Kansas City as “one of the fag capitals of the world” while he thought his mic was off.

His on-air plea for forgiveness fell short of the mark as he broke off midway to comment on the baseball game in front of him. As players and fans distanced themselves from him, Brennaman later issued an extensive statement of apology claiming he now realised the full impact of the hateful word he so casually used.

“As many of you know, I said something hateful on the air Wednesday night, something no one should ever say. Something that no one should ever think. Something that no one should ever feel. Something no one should ever hear,” he began.

“I used a word that is both offensive and insulting. In the past 24 hours, I have read about its history; I had no idea it was so rooted in hate and violence and am particularly ashamed that I, someone who makes his living by the use of words, could be so careless and insensitive.

“It’s a word that should have no place in my vocabulary and I will certainly never utter it again.”

He acknowledged that he had “failed” the LGBT+ community, the Cincinnati Reds team and all Reds fans, and said he was determined to show he is capable of learning from his mistakes and setting a better example.

“Diversity is a strength of our game, and derogatory language has no place in the booth, on the field or anywhere else for that matter,” he said. “I am sorry for the shame I brought upon the game that has been so good to my family and me for nearly 50 years.”

It seems much of his new understanding comes from having “spoken at length” with TV anchorman Evan Millward and Billy Bean, the openly gay special assistant to the commissioner of baseball.

“[They] have been generous with their time and patience to help me understand the impact of my actions and provided me with resources to educate myself and work to become a more informed person,” Brennaman said.

“I immediately plan to participate in diversity, equity and inclusion training and have reached out to PFLAG for resources and guidance,” he added.