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Friday, September 25, 2020

Thom Brennaman resigns as Reds broadcaster

Over a month after he used a homophobic slur on the air during a Fox Sports Ohio Reds broadcast, Thom Brennaman is resigning as the Reds play-by-play broadcaster.

Brennaman had been suspended since the incident, while also losing his Fox NFL assignments. He was also criticized for his apology after, wherein he claimed to have no knowledge of how hateful the word is. Brennaman also maintained his claim that he never used the word before, a difficult assertion to take seriously considering how easily he tossed it off into a hot mic.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 25, 2020 at 03:52 PM | 42 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: thom brennaman

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   1. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 25, 2020 at 04:17 PM (#5978779)
I give him points for not interrupting his statement with a home run call.
   2. Captain Joe Bivens, Elderly Northeastern Jew Posted: September 25, 2020 at 04:33 PM (#5978784)
Paging Nelson Muntz?


This ####### guy. He's sorry and won't do it again. I bet he won't, publicly. But does anyone think that he would change his attitude if there wasn't a financial motivation to do so? He's a phony.
   3. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 25, 2020 at 04:41 PM (#5978787)
Reds statement. The replies are great.
   4. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: September 25, 2020 at 04:41 PM (#5978788)
Good riddance.
   5. winnipegwhip Posted: September 25, 2020 at 04:46 PM (#5978792)
This is America. Take you contrition and expectations of forgiveness and go back to Russia!!!
   6. Captain Joe Bivens, Elderly Northeastern Jew Posted: September 25, 2020 at 05:07 PM (#5978797)
Take you contrition and expectations of forgiveness and go back to Russia!!!


Well, sure. He is not "just apologizing". He's apologizing and then saying he hopes to come back to work for another team as an announcer. Maybe some team in Russia will hire him, but there's no good reason that he should get hired by an MLB team. He dropped the veil without knowing he dropped the veil, meaning that he has a veil. And now he has no veil. Veil all gone. He can say he's sorry from here to the end of COVID. I don't believe he is. He's just another guy who is sorry he got caught.
   7. vortex of dissipation Posted: September 25, 2020 at 05:14 PM (#5978799)
As a Reds fan, I'm glad that he's gone.
   8. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: September 25, 2020 at 06:02 PM (#5978806)
This is America. Take you contrition and expectations of forgiveness and go back to Russia!!!

you can ask for forgiveness, but you're not entitled to receive it.
   9. salvomania Posted: September 25, 2020 at 06:05 PM (#5978808)
Even without being a jackass, he was one of the absolute worst MLB announcers.

As a Cardinal fan who doesn't like the Cardinals' TV announcers, I alwsys choose their opponents' feed when watching MLB.tv---except when they'd play the Reds. He was just unbearable.
   10. RJ in TO Posted: September 25, 2020 at 06:08 PM (#5978809)
He was also criticized for his apology after, wherein he claimed to have no knowledge of how hateful the word is.
Anyone claiming to not know how hateful that word is is too stupid to be allowed out unattended.
Brennaman also maintained his claim that he never used the word before, a difficult assertion to take seriously considering how easily he tossed it off into a hot mic.
If he claims he didn't know it was hateful, then why wouldn't he have used it before?
   11. Captain Joe Bivens, Elderly Northeastern Jew Posted: September 25, 2020 at 06:33 PM (#5978814)
As a Reds fan, I'm glad that he's gone.


And as a Red Sox fan who has heard of him but never heard him do a game, I'm happy for you that's he's gone.
   12. . Posted: September 25, 2020 at 07:06 PM (#5978816)
He's still not coming clean. It's not that he just accidentally used a bad word, in the vein of "Getz is gay," it's that everything about the context of what he said and how he said it and the tone of his voice in using it shows definitively that he hates gay people.

Plus he's obviously lying about not knowing about how hateful the word is. Does anyone with a brain who listened to that think Brennaman doesn't know the full meaning of the word? He used it *because* of its hateful context.

He stepped in it REAL bad. The only lie that might have worked is that he was imitating or channeling someone else and mocking them. (Which in theory could actually be true.) But the Costanza "not knowing" that boffing the cleaning woman was frowned upon route has no chance of working.


   13. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: September 25, 2020 at 07:27 PM (#5978820)
Stop the presses. I fully agree with SBB.

Thom isn't some bumpkin tucked away in Appalachia. There's zero chance he isn't aware of the connotations that word carries and has carried for quite some time now.
   14. John DiFool2 Posted: September 25, 2020 at 07:27 PM (#5978821)
And as a Red Sox fan who has heard of him but never heard him do a game, I'm happy for you that's he's gone.


I hated him the instant he joined WGN years ago. A phony indeed.
   15. Captain Joe Bivens, Elderly Northeastern Jew Posted: September 25, 2020 at 07:40 PM (#5978825)
The replies are great.


Oh yes. Click on this link. Read. Enjoy. An avalanche of snark.
   16. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: September 25, 2020 at 07:54 PM (#5978828)
That just might be the GREATEST apology in the HISTORY of the game.
   17. Walt Davis Posted: September 25, 2020 at 09:01 PM (#5978836)
Oh yes. Click on this link. Read. Enjoy. An avalanche of snark.

An impressive bit of collective action there.

Can anybody explain the weird Kyle Schwarber comment to me?
   18. Dolf Lucky Posted: September 25, 2020 at 09:09 PM (#5978837)
Can anybody explain the weird Kyle Schwarber comment to me?


Schwarber is from Middletown, OH, a town close to Cincy.

Brennaman mentioned this uninteresting factoid Every. Single. Time. the Reds faced the Cubs.
   19. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 25, 2020 at 11:58 PM (#5978879)
This ####### guy. He's sorry and won't do it again. I bet he won't, publicly. But does anyone think that he would change his attitude if there wasn't a financial motivation to do so? He's a phony.
I don't take exception to the argument that Brennaman isn't sincere. But I do think that demanding an apology and then refusing to accept it on the grounds that he said it because people demanded that he say it, is a bit perverse.
   20. Tin Angel Posted: September 26, 2020 at 12:13 AM (#5978880)
For what it's worth I live in SF and I think I saw Brenneman in the Castro a few days ago in one of those leather motorcycle outfits and some guy in a Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz costume had him on a leash while they were waiting at an ATM.
   21. DFA Posted: September 26, 2020 at 12:22 AM (#5978882)
So it took five weeks to come up with this statement?
   22. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: September 26, 2020 at 12:38 AM (#5978885)
I don't take exception to the argument that Brennaman isn't sincere. But I do think that demanding an apology and then refusing to accept it on the grounds that he said it because people demanded that he say it, is a bit perverse.
This was my thought, too. Brennaman's tenure had to end the moment that stuff hit the airwaves, but you weren't going to be able to get a better written apology out of him, sincere or not. Personally, I thought it was a perfectly acceptable apology, but the Reds needed to fire him weeks ago.
   23. Jeff Francoeur's OPS Posted: September 26, 2020 at 05:30 AM (#5978896)
Should he have kept his job? No. But this is a good example of mainstream American culture now: apologies never excepted, unless you follow it with a bullet to the brain.
   24. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: September 26, 2020 at 09:26 AM (#5978898)
Should he have kept his job? No. But this is a good example of mainstream American culture now: apologies never excepted, unless you follow it with a bullet to the brain.

this is some victim blaming bullshit. stop it.
   25. Jay Seaver Posted: September 26, 2020 at 09:34 AM (#5978902)
I don't take exception to the argument that Brennaman isn't sincere. But I do think that demanding an apology and then refusing to accept it on the grounds that he said it because people demanded that he say it, is a bit perverse.


Were the people who are actually the target of this sort of language actually demanding an apology, beyond seeing it as a necessary first step? Or is that more the folks who are just uncomfortable hearing it and can happily forget about it once the necessary rituals have been observed?

People these days are generally smarter about which apologies are sincere and which are empty exercises, from how quickly "I'm sorry you feel that way" is rightly discarded and savaged to noting that this one has its purpose of making Brennaman employable again embedded right in it. Well, maybe not smarter - most people always knew - but in a better position not to let empty words suffice. Apologies are accepted less for a number of reasons, most of them good, mainly that they're too often empty ways to maintain the status quo rather than a first step toward making things better. Maybe Brennaman's is the latter - time will tell - but people have been through this too many times to take it at face value.
   26. michaelplank has knowledgeable eyes Posted: September 26, 2020 at 09:49 AM (#5978905)
For what it's worth I live in SF and I think I saw Brenneman in the Castro a few days ago in one of those leather motorcycle outfits and some guy in a Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz costume had him on a leash while they were waiting at an ATM.


Do I even wanna know what ATM stands for in this context?
   27. Captain Joe Bivens, Elderly Northeastern Jew Posted: September 26, 2020 at 10:02 AM (#5978908)
But I do think that demanding an apology and then refusing to accept it on the grounds that he said it because people demanded that he say it, is a bit perverse.



I didn't demand an apology. I was interested in his explanation, and I find it lacking. He's a phony.
   28. . Posted: September 26, 2020 at 10:29 AM (#5978915)
I'm not really even interested in his "explanation," because there's no chance it can alter the reality of what he said and how he said it. It speaks for itself.

Look, not every bad thing we do in life necessarily can be laundered through the cycle of apology, meet with relevant group," take some time to "reflect," achieve redemption. A lot of things can, but not everything. This is one of those things that just can't. It was clear early on that this very well may be the worst of these "offensive" statements and nothing has changed since then. It's right up there with Al Campanis and worthy arguments can be summoned up that it's worse. It's little different than if he'd been talking offscreen about Detroit and got caught saying "one of the n_____r capitals of the world." It's unclear how the concepts of "apology" and "explanation"(*) even apply. It's still stunning that a long-standing announcer of some renown, well into middle-age, harbors such views. I didn't really like him as an announcer, but had no idea he was a dyed-in-the-wool backward-ass country ####.

(*) Small caveat with "explanation": as noted upthread, it's at least theoretically possible he was saying someone else's words by way of mocking them (**) and thus the snippet got caught entirely out of context. That would be an explanation worth making, obviously (and in that case an apology wouldn't even be necessary). Once that isn't the explanation, it's over.

(**) Off camera to colleagues: "Like that racist producer Chris used to work with, remember that guy ... used to say #### about San Francisco like ... (pause, mic turns on), "one of the fag capitals of the world." Theoretically possible.
   29. Captain Joe Bivens, Elderly Northeastern Jew Posted: September 26, 2020 at 10:44 AM (#5978921)
Yeah, I agree. I was only "interested" in the sense of "what will this boob say in the effort of squirming out of this pile of #### he created?" He didn't disappoint me.
   30. Greg Pope Posted: September 26, 2020 at 10:51 AM (#5978923)
The thing about this apology is that it's pretty much the exact apology that we all knew was coming. So it doesn't mean much one way or the other. Although claiming to not know how hateful it was is a stretch.

Let's see what he does next. I mean, what's the goal here? He loses his job, yes he deserves that. But if he is sincere then he should change and we should accept that change. Now, he could legitimately change, but stay out of the public eye and we would never know. Or he could not change, and stay out of the public eye and we'd also never know. If he wants to get back into broadcasting, he needs to do more.

Michael Vick did a horrible thing. It seemed like he was raised in the culture and never learned it was wrong. You can certainly argue that by the time he was an adult he should have known. But he didn't. He went to jail and served his sentence. Then he worked with anti-cruelty groups and talked with kids in schools, etc. He seemed (obviously we as outsiders can't prove it) to have learned that what he did was wrong and then made efforts to atone for it and educate others. He tried to make it better. I don't think we can ask for any more than that. If Vick legitimately learned more, was sorry, and worked to make things better, then we can accept that and he can come back to the game, broadcasting, whatever. In my opinion of course.

So if Brennamen wants to broadcast again, he'll have to actually use his name and this incident to try to make things better. Become a spokesman for LBGTQ rights. Work with the groups, not just apologize. Make statements, make donations, endorse political candidates. If he doesn't do that, does it mean he hasn't changed? No, he could change and do nothing. But then he shouldn't work in the public eye because he hasn't actually shown anything. Can he do all of those things and still be bigoted? Yes. But I would be willing to take that chance. Also, if he does all of that while still being bigoted, well, the world might be still be better off.
   31. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 26, 2020 at 10:57 AM (#5978925)
I don't take exception to the argument that Brennaman isn't sincere. But I do think that demanding an apology and then refusing to accept it on the grounds that he said it because people demanded that he say it, is a bit perverse.


I didn’t really care whether or not he pretended to be sorry for what he did. I just wanted him off the air, and now he is, so all’s we’ll that ends well. The rest is window dressing.
   32. Captain Joe Bivens, Elderly Northeastern Jew Posted: September 26, 2020 at 11:01 AM (#5978926)
Let's see what he does next.


Why? He damned himself when he said he wasn't aware calling a whole town "fag town" was hateful. What did he think it was? Locker room talk?
   33. Howie Menckel Posted: September 26, 2020 at 11:37 AM (#5978928)
It's right up there with Al Campanis and worthy arguments can be summoned up that it's worse.


I agree with everything you say about Brenneman - but Campanis is actually a very good COUNTERexample.

we appear to have zero evidence of anything positive in Brennaman's entire life that he did anything supportive of LGBTQ rights or anything at all similar.

Campanis, meanwhile, was a roommate of Jackie Robinson's in AAA at Montreal in 1946 and mentored him on playing second base. when Campanis' son was in grade school, he hoped that for his "show and tell" speech about Jackie, maybe his Dad could get an autographed bat or something.

after the presentation, around the classroom corner came Jackie himself - making the son the king of the classroom.

Campanis' infamous 1987 interview was specifically designed to be about the 40th anniversary of Robinson's arrival to the majors. the fact that Campanis had roomed with Robinson at a time when such arrangements were controversial is the very reason he was invited onto the show.

Don Newcombe also was supposed to be on the show, but transportation hangups knocked him out.

from the link:

"Regardless of the seemingly innocuous subject Campanis was booked to discuss, there was legitimate cause for concern about what he would say, according to the accounts of two writers friendly with Campanis, in Steve Delsohn's book "True Blue: The Dramatic History of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Told by the Men Who Lived It."

"He had a way of mangling the language," Los Angeles Times writer Mark Heisler told Delsohn. "As much as I liked the guy, he would go off the point and say something weird so often, people actually wondered if he was senile, or just pretending to be that way to confuse them."

And George Vecsey, longtime columnist for The New York Times, described to Delsohn a Campanis tendency to "bumble."


CAMPANIS: Well, Mr. Koppel, there have been some black managers, but I really can't answer that question directly. The only thing I can say is that you have to pay your dues when you become a manager. Generally, you have to go to minor leagues. There's not very much pay involved, and some of the better known black players have been able to get into other fields and make a pretty good living in that way."

so that's his intended point - black players don't tend to have the typically prerequisite experience, which was one thing. then he doubled down and.... "CAMPANIS: No, I don't believe it's prejudice. I truly believe that they may not have some of the necessities to be, let's say, a field manager, or perhaps a general manager."

that alone might not have been fatal. but then he went onto how black people are gifted athletes, but they can't swim, and down the rabbit hole we went.

two months later, noted sociologist Harry Edwards was hired by MLB to lead a program designed to increase diversity in MLB management. he said Campanis was one of the first calls he received, asking what he could do.

"It wasn't a simple case of Al being a bigot -- to say he was just a bigot is simply wrong -- people are more complex than that," Edwards said.

Campanis invited and met Koppel for a cup of coffee in Los Angeles several years later, the former "Nightline" anchor said.

"'You know I'm not a racist, right?'" Koppel recalled Campanis asking him. "And I said, 'I think I do know that, I really do believe that,' and he told me, 'Honestly, I have no hard feelings.'"

"Al Campanis paradoxically deserves credit, I think, both for his courage as a young man, his fundamental decency as a young man, and his malapropisms as an old man, which curiously may have led to more advances in racial equality in professional sports than anything he could have said that would have been unnoticed."

Said Edwards: "He didn't get a raw deal, he got the deal he ordered up, but he was one of the most honorable men in the whole process and he handled it with class, with conscientiousness and with courage."

I'll take Edwards' comments on the whole matter over anyone in the peanut gallery.

https://www.espn.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/7751398/how-al-campanis-controversial-racial-remarks-cost-career-highlighted-mlb-hiring-practices
   34. . Posted: September 26, 2020 at 11:53 AM (#5978933)
So if Brennamen wants to broadcast again, he'll have to actually use his name and this incident to try to make things better. Become a spokesman for LBGTQ rights. Work with the groups, not just apologize. Make statements, make donations, endorse political candidates.


None of those things would be actually genuine, and there's nothing about this incident that would genuinely trigger those reactions.

There really isn't anything he can "do," in the common meaning of that term. He hated gays and was unambiguously an anti-gay bigot at age 57, so much so that he expressed it out loud at work. He doesn't belong in any kind of public-facing position, and once he's out of all of those, what he does as a purely private person is no more important than what any private person does.

"It wasn't a simple case of Al being a bigot -- to say he was just a bigot is simply wrong -- people are more complex than that," Edwards said.


Totally true, but there's nothing complex about Brennaman's remark or the context in which it was delivered, and that's why it can be argued that it's worse than Campanis.
   35. Brian C Posted: September 26, 2020 at 12:47 PM (#5978946)
All I know is, Thom Brennaman was long suspected of being a complete phony by a lot of people, and then he got caught on a hot mic saying something that pretty much confirmed what his skeptics thought of him. I don't really care if he apologized or didn't apologize or if he hates gay people or if what he said really was truly out of character for him. I'm just glad he's gone.
   36. Greg Pope Posted: September 26, 2020 at 12:49 PM (#5978947)
Why? He damned himself when he said he wasn't aware calling a whole town "fag town" was hateful. What did he think it was? Locker room talk?

Look, I said 2 sentences later that it's unlikely he wasn't aware. And I also think it's unlikely he'll truly change anything at his age. And I said he deserved to lose his job. My point is that the apology itself is pretty boilerplate and doesn't really mean anything. I'm not accepting* his apology because there's nothing behind it. If he were to do the things that I said, I would reconsider.

*"accepting" being shorthand for believing, etc. He's obviously not apologizing to me.
   37. Brian C Posted: September 26, 2020 at 01:06 PM (#5978951)
wrong thread
   38. Captain Joe Bivens, Elderly Northeastern Jew Posted: September 26, 2020 at 03:23 PM (#5978989)
Also agree with Howie re: Campanis. He was a product of his time. I believe that is that interview took place 30 years later, and Campanis was the same age as he was in 1987, he wouldn't have said those dumb things. Which, as SBB said, makes the Brennaman situation worse.

Greg: I get what you're saying. I just don't think "what comes next" from him will bail him out. Gandhi, he ain't.
   39. ReggieThomasLives Posted: September 26, 2020 at 06:09 PM (#5979016)
What would did he use, "fey"?
   40. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 26, 2020 at 08:00 PM (#5979029)
Howie,

Good comment. Harry Edwards doesn't give forgiveness awards for mere pro forma apologies.
   41. flournoy Posted: September 26, 2020 at 08:36 PM (#5979033)
It's not that he just accidentally used a bad word, [...] it's how he said it and the tone of his voice in using it


To be fair, it really isn't a word that can be said in any other tone of voice.
   42. Howie Menckel Posted: September 26, 2020 at 09:41 PM (#5979044)
has ANYONE stepped forward in defense of Brennaman's character? I truly would like to know.

no borderline prospect who Brennaman once befriended in spring training, no LGBTQ friend with a kind word, no charity that he quietly has supported over the years?

I mean, there has to be somebody - right?

not defending his vicious comment, obviously.

but just to say that there's something else to this guy besides being handed a plum job due to - well, nepotism privilege - and what seems to be an incredibler smugness.

nothing in his wiki profile to feel great about.

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