Maybe Thom Brennaman should stick to his day job – now that he has one again.
The former Cincinnati Reds play-by-play announcer has landed a new gig after a hot-mic homophobic slur during what he thought was a commercial break cost him his job last August. Brennaman is joining Chatterbox Sports, a sports media outlet for high school sports in Southwest Ohio, as a play-by-play announcer.
The 57-year-old provided one of the most cringeworthy moments of 2020 when, as he attempted to apologize to the audience for the slur, he was interrupted by a home run from Nick Castellanos. The moment was painfully awkward for everyone involved and went ultra-viral, but after a year, Brennaman appears ready to make jokes about it.
“By the way, I think Castellanos hit a deep drive to left field,” Brennaman said in a video announcing him joining Chatterbox.
Brennaman was taken off the broadcast immediately after his August apology and was fired by FOX Sports soon after. He has since called games in the Roberto Clemente League in Puerto Rico.
Chatterbox president Trace Fowler said he strongly believes in second chances and wanted to give another opportunity to the announcer.
“Over the past two months, I have done a lot of research to see what kind of person he is; was the comment that he made, is that who he is, or is it just a mistake like all of us have made at some point?” Fowler said of the hiring.
“And the conclusion that I’ve come up with, quite frankly, is that he’s a great person who made a mistake that I know he’s deeply regretful for. And we’re excited to allow him another opportunity to put a headset on again. And the biggest thing that I hope people take away from this is that we are not downplaying what was said, what people feel from that.”
Brennaman is a graduate of both Anderson High School in Cincinnati and Ohio University, so he is familiar with the area. After graduation, he began his career at WLWT – covering high school sports – before calling Reds games on TV with Hall of Famer Johnny Bench.
Since then, he has had stints with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago Cubs, and FOX Sports where he covered the MLB, NFL, and college football. He made his return to Cincinnati in 2006.
“I’m so grateful and excited,” Brennaman said of joining Chatterbox. “I grew up here in Greater Cincinnati. I know what high school football, high school basketball and high school sports mean to this area. This is what I was doing…when my career started. Here we are coming full circle getting back out to high school sports.”