Thom Brennaman is the voice of the Cincinnati Reds. Well, he was the voice of the Reds. Then THIS happened (NSFW)...
SWING and a miss, he's out of here! Presumably.
Here's a statement released by the Reds on Wednesday night, "The Cincinnati Reds organization is devastated by the horrific, homophobic remark made this evening by broadcaster Thom 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 fact that Brennaman used the slur, and the emphasis that he put on the word, was offensive enough. Then came the half-baked attempt at an apology. He paused in the middle of said apology to CALL A HOME RUN.
"That is not who I am."
Actually, it's exactly who you are. That's the problem.
On Twitter, a bunch of people have made the point that you always "need to assume a mic is hot." Okay, sure. I've been told that dozens, if not hundreds, of times. Anybody who works in the industry has been told the same exact thing.
That's not the issue.
A month or two ago, my microphone was left on by mistake. My producer Brian and I spent the next couple of minutes talking about sandwiches.
I wasn't fired or suspended for saying that I love a good reuben.
Thom Brennaman could have been discussing types of beer, the weather, sandwiches, or a myriad of other things that wouldn't have got him suspended. Instead, he was throwing around a homophobic slur.
If you don't say those kinds of hateful things, you'll never get in trouble for saying them. It's pretty simple to me.
This also isn't an issue of "cancel" culture or "snowflakes being overly sensitive." Thom Brennaman used a word that is offensive to millions of people.
As a broadcaster, he needed to be better. As a human, he should have known better.