In the hours after he said a homophobic slur in front of a hot mic, play-by-play announcer Thom Brennaman was quickly suspended by the Cincinnati Reds and now FOX Sports, from his scheduled NFL broadcasts for the upcoming season.
“FOX Sports is extremely disappointed with Thom Brennaman’s remarks during Wednesday’s Cincinnati Reds telecast,” FOX said in a statement Thursday. “The language used was abhorrent, unacceptable, and not representative of the values of FOX Sports.”
Brennaman has been a national announcer with FOX for decades, calling NFL games since 1994 and MLB games from 1996-2014. Last season, Brennaman was part of FOX’s No. 3 broadcast team, alongside analyst Chris Spielman and field reporter Shannon Spake. In 2006, Brennaman joined the Reds as a play-by-play announcer, the organization where his father Marty Brennaman worked as their radio voice from 1974-2019.
The disgraced broadcaster is now in crisis mode, offering a second apology in an op-ed for The Cincinnati Inquirer on Thursday as he attempts to express remorse and a commitment to understanding LGBTQ+ issues.
“To the LGBTQ+ community – I am truly and deeply sorry,” Brennaman wrote. “You should never be denigrated with crude and hateful language. I failed you, and I cannot say enough how sorry I am.”
The longtime Cincinnati Reds and FOX announcer went on to state the steps he’s taking to become more informed.
“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-TV 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.”
Two hours after uttering the slur during a live broadcast, Brennaman realized his career was in jeopardy, but a statement by GLAAD said his first apology was “incredibly weak and not enough,” also “demanding full accountability” from the Reds, Major League Baseball and FOX.
“I don’t know if I’m going to be putting on this headset again,” Brennaman said before exiting the Reds broadcast Wednesday night in the fifth inning. If he does get the opportunity to put the headset on again, it certainly won’t be any time soon.
Mike Tirico, Tom Brady, Manningcast Win Sports Emmys
The annual Sports Emmys were handed out on Tuesday night, and some usual names and new names ended up taking home hardware.
Among the usual names were NBC’s Mike Tirico, who won for Outstanding Personality/Studio Host, and soon-to-be Sunday Night Football broadcast colleague Cris Collinsworth, who was named Outstanding Personality/Sports Event Analyst.
But among the new names as Sports Emmy winners include Tom Brady and both Eli and Peyton Manning.
Brady’s Man in the Arena saga won Outstanding Documentary Series, while the Mannings were rewarded for their work on the Monday Night Football Manningcast, which won Outstanding Live Series.
Here’s a rundown of some of the key Sports Emmy winners:
Here is a full list of winners and nominees for the 2022 ceremony.
Joe Buck Says He Won’t Miss World Series
“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game.”
Among the bigger chain reactions set off by Joe Buck leaving FOX for ESPN was the sudden vacancy in FOX’s main MLB broadcast booth.
The 2022 World Series will mark the first time since 1995 that Buck will not be on the microphone.
Speaking to Chris Long on his podcast Green Light, Buck hopes to be in a more exotic location watching World Series games this fall.
“I would like to be in Cabo San Lucas with a margarita in my hand and a half-smoked cigar watching Game 7 of the World Series,” Buck said. “Cheering on Joe Davis and John Smoltz, and Ken Rosenthal, and Tom Verducci, and Pete Macheska and Matt Gangl and right on down the line.”
Buck added he’ll take pleasure in turning the broadcast off if it’s Game 7 and there’s an insurmountable lead. But the broadcasting legend said even on a bigger scale, not calling any baseball games at all this season, let alone the World Series, is a bit surreal after covering the sport for so long.
“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game,” he said. “And that’s really weird to me, but I walk away really proud of what I and we did.”
He added that he will not miss the opportunity, because he does not feel like he will “leave any unfinished business” in FOX’s MLB booth.
Buck further praised his FOX colleagues and said it was time for a change. He knows Joe Davis will thrive in the opportunity.
NFL Likely To Launch NFL+ Streaming Service This Summer
“A source tells Fischer that a $5 per month price has been discussed for NFL+.”
According to the Sports Business Journal, consumers could be downloading NFL+ by July. Now, just what NFL+ will be is still yet to be finalized.
Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal reported in the site’s newsletter that live games will certainly be at the center of the league-owned streaming service. It is likely to only be available on phones and tablets with no option to stream to a larger monitor.
The viewing options would be limited. No out of market games would be available on the app. It is meant to replace the deals that recently expired with Yahoo and mobile phone carriers that recently expired.
The app could also include other content. Radio calls, team-created digital content, and league-owned podcasts are all options.
A source tells Fischer that a $5 per month price has been discussed for NFL+. The pricing structure can and likely will change before the app hits the market.