When broadcaster Thom Brennaman dropped a homophobic slur into a live mic in mid-August as casually as Nicholas Castellanos drops a routine pop-up, many fans wondered if that would end up being the last Cincinnati Reds game he’d call.
Today, we have our answer and it’s a resounding yes. After more than a month away from the broadcast booth, Brennaman just announced that he is resigning as Cincinnati’s lead play-by-play man.
In a statement to WCPO anchor Evan Millward, Brennaman continued offering the apology he has been working on for the better part of a month: “To this great city, my hometown, a sincere thank you. I truly regret what I said and I’m so very sorry. No one loves this town more than me.”
This time, he didn’t even have to interrupt it to call a Reds home run.
Unlike his on-air mea culpa, Brennaman twice mentioned the LGBTQ community, showing some acknowledgement of who his hateful words had hurt. As signs of hope for improvement go, this was a necessary step.
He also expressed his desire to one day return to broadcasting and promised that if he were granted that privilege, “I will be a better broadcaster and a much better person.” Growing into a better person is the most important part of the work Brennaman’s has ahead of him. And if he is genuine about continuing to put effort into it, becoming better at his job should naturally follow.
Lastly, Brennaman acknowledged that he has been meeting with members of the LGBTQ community for the past five weeks. He thanked those in our community who have forgiven him and vowed that “With their continued guidance, I hope to be a voice for positive change.”
Shortly afterward, the Reds released a statement from CEO Bob Castellini reading in part: “The Reds respect Thom Brennaman’s decision to step away from the broadcast booth and applaud his heartfelt efforts of reconciliation with the LGBTQ+ community.”
With his resignation, Brennaman now has more time to devote to looking within himself and discovering what it takes to become a voice for positive change. We hope that he remains committed to it.