What a strange and terrible year it has been for Major League Baseball.
First and foremost, there is the enormous toll that the coronavirus pandemic has taken on the national pastime, abbreviating the season to a shell of its former self: Only 60-odd games instead of 162, new rules to speed up extra innings, and plenty of teams being forced to cancel and postpone competitions as COVID-19 ravages their clubhouses.
This isn’t much of a season at all, and fans aren’t all that interested either.
Now, in a bizarre moment caught on camera, one of the league’s veteran play-callers has found himself in hot water over his use of an offensive slur.
In an apparent hot mic moment, Cincinnati Reds broadcaster Thom Brennaman was caught uttering an anti-gay slur between innings on Wednesday. Less than two hours later, he was apologizing and exiting the booth.
By night’s end, the team announced Brennaman was suspended effective immediately, with a further decision on the Reds’ broadcast team due to follow in the coming days.
Fox Sports Ohio has since released a statement saying it agrees with the Reds decision to suspend Brennaman.
The Reds home network says Brennaman’s comment was “hateful, offensive, and in no way reflects the values of Fox Sports Ohio.”
Players took to Twitter to assure fans that Brennaman’s comment was not indicative of the team’s beliefs.
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.
— CountOnAG (@Amir_Garrett) August 20, 2020
The announcer’s apology was bizarrely interrupted by a home run:
“I pride myself and think of myself as a man of faith, as there is a drive into deep left field by Castellanos. It will be a home run, and so that will make it a 4-0 ballgame. 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.”
With each passing day, baseball fans yearn more and more for the 2021 season to start.
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