One of the first rules in broadcasting is to assume every microphone is a ‘hot mic,’ a term which means according to dictionary.com: “a microphone that is actively recording or broadcasting, especially if it captures a comment or conversation that the speaker or speakers believed to be private.” Anyone can tell affirm that a hot mic moment can ruin a political campaign like 2012 Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney or end a career like A.J. Clemente.
Thom Brennaman, Fox Sports broadcaster for major league baseball team Cincinnati Reds, was the latest broadcaster to experience a hot mic gaffe and it may cost him his job. During the pre-game broadcast of the Reds home doubleheader against the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday, August 19, 2020, Brennaman used a gay slur (which can be heard in the video below).
Thom Brennamann likely ends his Reds career tonight LIVE on the air pic.twitter.com/EDzSICgVmx
— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) August 19, 2020
It is not known what led the veteran broadcaster to say the slur or the context behind it, but Brennaman apologized later during the game.
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) August 20, 2020
After the games concluded, two of the Reds players took to Twitter to speak out against Brennaman’s comment.
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
LGBTQ+ community, as a member of the Reds organization, I am so sorry for the way you were marginalized tonight. There will always be a place for you in the baseball community and we are so happy to have you here.
— Matt Bowman (@bowmandernchief) August 20, 2020
The Cincinnati Reds issued a statement on its Twitter page concerning Brennaman’s homophobic comment. The statement detailed an immediate suspension of Brennaman by the Reds.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) August 20, 2020
It is unknown if Fox Sports will terminate Brennaman. Responses to the Reds’ tweet ranged from defending the broadcaster…
To calling for Brennaman’s termination.
On Thursday morning, Brennaman released a statement:
“I would like to sincerely apologize for the inappropriate comments I made during last night’s telecast. I made a terrible mistake. To the LGBTQ community, and all people I have hurt or offended, from the bottom of my heart, I am truly sorry. I respectfully ask for your grace and forgiveness.”
Should Brennaman be terminated for his homophobic slur on live television? Let us know in the comments or on our social media accounts.