Cincinnati Reds Players Show Support For LGBT Community After Thom Brennaman's Homophobic Slur

A number of Cincinnati Reds players have reacted to the suspension of a broadcaster for using a homophobic slur on air, including those who have expressed support for the LGBTQ community.

The Major League Baseball team confirmed that play-by-play announcer Thom Brennaman was suspended with immediate effect after he was heard on a Fox Sports Ohio broadcast saying "one of the f*g capitals of the world" before carrying on with his duties.

The comment was made after a commercial break during a game between the Reds and the Kansas City Royals in Kansas City, Missouri. It is unclear what prompted Brennaman to use the homophobic remark.

Brennaman gave an on air apology for the remark which he was "deeply ashamed" of making.

"If I have hurt anyone out there, I can't tell you how much I say from the bottom of my heart that I am very, very sorry."

"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 want to 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," he said.

"I can't begin to tell you how deeply sorry I am. That is not who I am and it never has been. I'd like to think maybe I could have some people that can back that up. I am very, very sorry, and I beg for your forgiveness."

Brennaman interrupted his apology to announce a home run during the game before handing over commentating duties to fellow Fox Sports Ohio broadcaster Jim Day.

In an additional statement to Newsweek sent via Steinlight Media, Brennaman said: "I would like to sincerely apologize for the inappropriate comments I made during last night's telecast. I made a terrible mistake.

"To the LGBTQ community, and all people I have hurt or offended, from the bottom of my heart, I am truly sorry. I respectfully ask for your grace and forgiveness."

Here is Thom Brennaman’s on-air apology. As Castellanos hits a home run.

— Cincinnati 💔 (@CincyProblems) August 20, 2020

Reds pitcher Amir Garrett was one of the first players to speak out against Brennaman's comments and express solidarity with the LGBTQ community.

"To the LGBTQ community just know I am with you, and whoever is against you, is against me. I'm sorry for what was said today," Garrett tweeted.

Fellow pitcher Matt Bowman also tweeted: "LGBTQ+ community, 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."

First baseman Joey Votto also shared a clip of Brennaman using the homophobic slur on Twitter with the message: "Fire Thom Brennaman immediately."

Votto had previously tweeted: "How is Thom Brennaman still calling this game. Reds need to respond."

In a statement, the Cincinnati Reds said they are "devastated by the horrific, homophobic remark" made the comment made by Brennaman.

"He was pulled off the air, and effective immediately was suspended from doing Reds broadcasts. We will be addressing our broadcasting team in the coming days," the team 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, 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."

Fox Sports Ohio also supported the Reds' decision to suspend Brennaman.

"The language that Thom Brennaman used this evening is hateful, offensive, and in no way reflects the values of FOX Sports Ohio," the broadcaster tweeted. "We agree with the @Reds decision to suspend him until further notice."

 Cincinnati Reds
(File photo) Starting pitcher Trevor Bauer #27 of the Cincinnati Reds warms up in the outfield prior to game two of a doubleheader against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on August 19, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri. A number of Cincinnati Reds players have reacted to the suspension of a broadcaster for using a homophobic slur on air, Jamie Squire/Getty