Thom Brennaman: ‘I Have Never Used That Word in My Life’


Whether or not you knew his name before last month, you've been familiar with Thom Brennaman's work for some time.

From 1998-2006, he was the Arizona Diamondbacks' play-by-play announcer, even calling Randy Johnson's historic perfect game in 2004. Since 2006, he's been a play-by-play announcer for the Cincinnati Reds, where his father, Marty, forged a legendary career in the same role. From 1994 until the end of last season, he was one of FOX's national NFL announcers.

Still just 56, Brennaman, unquestionably, is one of the more accomplished announcers of his era. However, after he was caught on a hot mic using a homophobic slur last month, his era may be over.

FOX has already decided not to have him call NFL games in 2020, and in an on-air apology on the night of the incident, Brennaman acknowledged that he wasn't sure he would ever get the chance to call a sporting event again:

Tuesday, Brennaman spoke to Mark Fischer of The New York Post about the situation, which happened nearly a month ago.

“Believe me, I know there are a lot of people who are still very angry and I understand that,” Brennaman told The Post on Monday in his first interview since the incident.

“I have never used that word (before) in my life,” Brennaman said emphatically.

“The realization of the incredible hurt that I’ve caused using that word has been breathtaking,” Brennaman said. “It’s been absolutely amazing the amount of grace and forgiveness and support.”

“If I get another chance, someone will be hiring a better person than the person who walked out the door that night on Aug. 19.”

For what it's worth, the story chronicles how Evan Millward - a newscaster that's part of the LGBTQ community - and activist Ryan Messer are working with Brennaman and do believe that he's contrite in his apologies. However, Messer didn't buy that when Brennaman used the three-letter slur on air that it was the first time that he had ever said it.

This story adds on to an interesting debate that's much bigger than Brennaman. Should those in positions of power be given a second chance if they make a major mistake? How long should they have to wait before being given that second chance? Should the second chance include the opportunity to resume the career the offender had in the first place? If you can find two people that agree on the exact answer to all three of these questions, you may be able to bring world peace.

It's not clear at this time what the future holds for Brennaman, but the future of society hopefully won't include such slurs being uttered.

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