Read the letter from now-suspended Cincinnati Reds broadcaster Thom Brennaman apologizing for using a homophobic slur on-air Wednesday evening.
As many of you know, I said something hateful on the air Wednesday night, something no one should ever say. Something that someone should ever think.
Something that no one should ever feel.
Something no one should ever hear.
I could try to explain it or tell you about who I am and what I believe, but those things would all be excuses. The simple fact is, what I said was wrong.
I used a word that is both offensive and insulting. In the last 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.
I cannot erase what I have done. The only thing I can do is humbly apologize, accept the consequences of my actions, and resolve to be better and behave differently from now on.
To the LGBTQ+ community – I am truly and deeply sorry. You should never be denigrated with crude and hateful language. I failed you and I cannot say enough how sorry I am.
To the Cincinnati Reds and all Reds fans – You deserve better from me. I let you down and will work in whatever way I can to show that I am capable of learning from my mistakes and setting an example of which everyone associated with the Reds – management, staff, players, former players, and fans – can be proud.
To Major League Baseball – 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. 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.
I have spoken at length with Billy Bean, Vice President, and Special Assistant to the Commissioner of Baseball and an openly gay man, and Evan Millward, WCPO anchorman, who 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. With their help, I am going to start improving my understanding of LGBTQ+ issues and not in a way to simply check a box to keep my job but to sincerely have an impact and change. I immediately plan to participate in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training and have reached out to PFLAG for resources and guidance.
Regardless of what my future holds in broadcasting, my actions have forced me to reflect on who I am and how I want to be seen and thought of. I realize it is more important than ever for us to treat each other with dignity and respect. I need to be better and I must set a better example. I hope the LGBTQ+ community, the Reds and their fans, and the people of Cincinnati can find a way to think better of me. With all the humility I can muster, I ask for your forgiveness.
This story was first reported by Thom Brennaman at WCPO in Cincinnati, Ohio.