Reds broadcaster Thom Brennaman suspended for on-air homophobic epithet

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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And here's the key phrase for Larson:

“I made a mistake and I’m paying for it and I accept that,” Larson said. “NASCAR is where I always wanted to be and I do believe I proved I can compete at the Cup level. I’d like to get back there and we’ll see if there’s a way. All I can do is continue to improve myself and let my actions show who I truly am.”
That's it. None of this "That's not who I am. I'm a man of faith" nonsense. He lost his ride and deservedly so. He knows his actions will show if he's learned and changed from his experience. Brennaman could do the same, if he wants to. But it will be a long road back.
 

Ralphwiggum

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If I were a patient in an ER and overheard doctors or nurses saying something like that I would 100% report the comment and file a complaint. Patients obviously are a different matter, ERs care for bigots and racists, and people who might just be in copious amounts of pain who might blurt out things that are highly offensive. But I would be horrified if I heard something like that from the professional staff. And as others have noted, if I said this on a conference call or in a meeting I would be fired before the end of the day, and rightfully so.

Like a lot of people my age, I used that word a lot when I was a kid, mostly towards friends and not really meaning it as a slur. But I remember once in college (in like, 1994) calling my friend that and thinking it just sounded wrong the second the words left my mouth. I can't say for sure when I stopped using it completely but I am confident it is close to 20 years ago. The dude obviously still uses the word often if he's comfortable saying it in a setting where he knows there's a good chance of it being recorded (even if he didn't think it was going to be broadcast live). He should be gone for a long time.
 

Sinistas

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"Cancel culture" = "Not letting people get away with saying or doing shitty things anymore"

Fuck this guy. He deserves to lose his job.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I think there are three questions in these cases.

1. How bad was the conduct? 2. Even if not that bad, do we still need to ensure a particular reaction/punishment to support victims of hateful conduct? 3. When does someone who engaged in this conduct deserve a second chance (get another job, whatever)?

Thoughts:

1. It's hard to know what's in someone's heart and mind. There are probably occasions where someone who truly tries to be an ally and a good person has a subconscious slip or uses a term hardwired somewhere in their synapses from an earlier time. Or bends to peer pressure. Or whatever. I think that's relatively rare. But I'm sure it does happen. Brennaman doesn't get past square 1 here. The context and shitty apology make clear this is not him. The reason apologies are shitty in these contexts is because these guys don't really know what they are apologizing for 30 minutes or a day later. If they did, they wouldn't have said what they said in the first place and that's exactly what happened here.

2. Even if we allow for the out-of-character slip, so what? Do we still want to react harshly because to do otherwise would deepen intolerance and send the wrong message to victims of this stuff? Seems to me that if you're going to put your finger on one side of the scale, you put it on the side of those repeatedly hurt.

3. I personally am in favor of second chances when genuine. But they take work. And, the good news is that the truly converted can be positive allies in a way that even those on the team all along maybe can't -- like it sounds the racecar driver above might be doing.
 

Rovin Romine

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I think there are three questions in these cases.

1. How bad was the conduct? 2. Even if not that bad, do we still need to ensure a particular reaction/punishment to support victims of hateful conduct? 3. When does someone who engaged in this conduct deserve a second chance (get another job, whatever)?

Thoughts:

1. It's hard to know what's in someone's heart and mind. There are probably occasions where someone who truly tries to be an ally and a good person has a subconscious slip or uses a term hardwired somewhere in their synapses from an earlier time. Or bends to peer pressure. Or whatever. I think that's relatively rare. But I'm sure it does happen. Brennaman doesn't get past square 1 here. The context and shitty apology make clear this is not him. The reason apologies are shitty in these contexts is because these guys don't really know what they are apologizing for 30 minutes or a day later. If they did, they wouldn't have said what they said in the first place and that's exactly what happened here.

2. Even if we allow for the out-of-character slip, so what? Do we still want to react harshly because to do otherwise would deepen intolerance and send the wrong message to victims of this stuff? Seems to me that if you're going to put your finger on one side of the scale, you put it on the side of those repeatedly hurt.

3. I personally am in favor of second chances when genuine. But they take work. And, the good news is that the truly converted can be positive allies in a way that even those on the team all along maybe can't -- like it sounds the racecar driver above might be doing.
The discrete cases often won't fall exactly on a tipping point, and this one certainly does not. I'd say there are very few people in his generation who didn't use the word (or its ugly siblings) as kids or in their high school or college years. But contrary to some assertions (and in some backwaters), the word's been mostly off-limits as a straight-up epithet in terms of public/workplace speech for what, more than a couple of decades now? And even before that, we all knew, even as kids, that it was basically a hurtful word; that was the entire point of using it as a pejorative, no matter who it was directed against.

But when a guy in 2020 puts that much scorn and emphasis into any sentence that ends with, ". . .Fag capitals of the world," publicly in his workplace, uncaring of who might hear it, well, that tells me he does have an entire architecture of homophobia just seething below the surface. Probably life-long.

That's not a slip, or an historical remanent/reflex, or an expression of peer pressure, or a quote out of context, or a joke that shouldn't even be told ironically, or a misguided attempt to be clever or to shame another, or anything like it. It's a fully articulated thought with a lot behind it, and he was 100% putting it out there as exactly what it seems to be.
 

sean1562

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I mean, if this guy wants to have any shot at ever being an announcer again, I feel like doing something like this where he gets absolutely grilled on air about how his actions are totally out of line is the bare minimum.
 

ColdSoxPack

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Kobe Bryant called referee Bennie Adams a "faggot" in a game in 2011. He was fined 100,000. Here is how he explained it: "My actions were out of frustration during the heat of the game, period. The words expressed do NOT reflect my feelings toward the gay and lesbian communities and were NOT meant to offend anyone.”

I would say the opposite is true.
 

ColdSoxPack

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Yes in 2015 he called Referee Bill Kennedy that word, after which Kennedy admitted he was gay. Here was Rondo's explanation:

My actions during the game were out of frustration and emotion, period!
2:03 PM · Dec 14, 2015


They absolutely do not reflect my feelings toward the LGBT community. I did not mean to offend or disrespect anyone.
2:03 PM · Dec 14, 2015
https://twitter.com/intent/like?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E676522970731446276%7Ctwgr%5E&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.espn.com%2Fnba%2Fstory%2F_%2Fid%2F14367426%2Fnba-referee-bill-kennedy-announces-gay-following-rajon-rondo-using-slur&tweet_id=676522970731446276
Lol of course not. So Thom is in good company.
 

richgedman'sghost

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I can only think of two cases where the announcers had a slip of the tongue and probably deserved another chance. One example of course was the previously mentioned Doug Adler who used the term guerilla tactics and was mistakenly assumed to have called Serena Williams a gorilla. He was unfairly canceled out by the the cancel culture and has not worked a tennis match since. Even the hardest critics would say that Adler's situation was extremely rare.
The other case of a slip of a tongue occured during Jeremy Lin's brief upswing with the Knicks. The SportsCenter highlight package began with something like Lin finds the Chink in the Celtics armor for 40 points (paraphrasing) The person responsible was suspended not fired. Ironically, I think he eventually resigned and went into the ministry.
Thom however of course does not fall into either situation and deserves a harsh punishment. Those two situations as I said are extremely rare.
 

EnochRoot

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I can only think of two cases where the announcers had a slip of the tongue and probably deserved another chance. One example of course was the previously mentioned Doug Adler who used the term guerilla tactics and was mistakenly assumed to have called Serena Williams a gorilla. He was unfairly canceled out by the the cancel culture and has not worked a tennis match since. Even the hardest critics would say that Adler's situation was extremely rare.
The other case of a slip of a tongue occured during Jeremy Lin's brief upswing with the Knicks. The SportsCenter highlight package began with something like Lin finds the Chink in the Celtics armor for 40 points (paraphrasing) The person responsible was suspended not fired. Ironically, I think he eventually resigned and went into the ministry.
Thom however of course does not fall into either situation and deserves a harsh punishment. Those two situations as I said are extremely rare.
I've seen a lot of comments in this thread re: Doug Adler's unfortunate moment. The takeaway there, to me anyway was the lack of support from the tennis (commentators, analysts) community. That had to compound the emptiness he felt.

I wasn't aware of the Jeremy Lin brouhaha. To me, that's the copyeditor's fault. That's not live TV. That talking head (same as it ever was) was likely reading from a teleprompter, but you know, facts are useless in emergencies.
 

cromulence

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It was on ESPN.com, and the headline writer was fired: Link

Apparently Max Bretos also said it, which I'd forgotten. Didn't really hurt his career too much.
 

Rovin Romine

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I've seen a lot of comments in this thread re: Doug Adler's unfortunate moment. The takeaway there, to me anyway was the lack of support from the tennis (commentators, analysts) community. That had to compound the emptiness he felt.

I wasn't aware of the Jeremy Lin brouhaha. To me, that's the copyeditor's fault. That's not live TV. That talking head (same as it ever was) was likely reading from a teleprompter, but you know, facts are useless in emergencies.
Unfortunately for Alder, what he said was, she "puts the gorilla/guerrilla effect on." I can't quite say what he meant by that, but if he had used the more common English phrase "guerrilla tactics" in passing, he'd have had a much stronger leg to stand on. And, as you suggest, if "guerrilla effect" was a very common term, you'd think there would be any number of clips of other announcers using it, which would settle the issue.

I'm not saying it couldn't be a poorly chosen phrase on his part, but it's it's far from a clearly innocuous one.
 

Average Reds

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There are a lot of examples being given of people making on-air “mistakes” that feel, with one exception, forced and inapt. The reason these examples are inapt is that those were, at some level, mistakes.

Brennaman didn’t make a mistake. It wasn’t a slip of the toungue. It wasn’t a word that had multiple meanings. It wasn’t a word that had a heritage/origin that he wasn’t aware of.

Brennaman used a slur as a slur. His only “mistake” was the assumption that he wouldn’t be held accountable. Which is why the only comparison that makes any sense is the case of Kyle Larson that has been noted here. And as Kyle Larson himself acknowledges, the heavy price he is paying is a just outcome. (Though it should be noted that Larson applied for reinstatement yesterday, which is curious timing to say the least.)

If this is what people refer to as “cancel culture” then mark me down as a fan.
 

joe dokes

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I can only think of two cases where the announcers had a slip of the tongue and probably deserved another chance. One example of course was the previously mentioned Doug Adler who used the term guerilla tactics and was mistakenly assumed to have called Serena Williams a gorilla. He was unfairly canceled out by the the cancel culture and has not worked a tennis match since.
Thom however of course does not fall into either situation and deserves a harsh punishment. Those two situations as I said are extremely rare.
It was Venus Williams. There's a compelling case for Adler having made a slip of the tongue. Until you use the term "cancel culture." That actually does a disservice to Adler. Its like saying "those meanies were mean to him" without saying what happened. (Most of the time, it's a fig leaf to excuse shitty behavior. This time, it hides the failure of everyone from the original homophonic(?) mistake to the lack of suport from the tennis community).
(IIRC he settled a wrongful termination suit with ESPN. Hardly a replacement for a career, though).
 

bsj

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This is a guy who, if he EVER wants another job, needs to step down, get massive amounts of sensitivity training, come back in a couple years and start and fund a legit non profit dedicated to a real LGBT cause. He basically is going to need 2 full time jobs for the rest of his life. He needs to be a champion for LGBT community. Only then may he, eventually, be able to claw his way back.

That garbage apology isn’t even remotely close.
 

MuzzyField

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This is who Thom has always been, at least dating back to our shared years at Ohio University. He surrounded himself with plenty of like-minded entitled thinkers and they consistently displayed a much wider swath of intolerance and exclusion than he did a few nights ago. It wasn't hidden, didn't need to be back then, and they certainly celebrated and enjoyed being who they were. Of course this wasn't exclusive to OU and was replicated on most campus and many other places.

The problem with what bsj suggests is that Thom's only motivation to do any of those things would be getting another job. Beyond his actual comment, his non-apology makes me pretty confident he hasn't evolved much in 30 years.

What Thom really requires is an asshole transplant. We know G38 needs one and Thom's dad probably does too. Maybe they can get group discount.

As CP points out Thom's last name far exceeds his talents and always has. His work ethic when it comes to actually preparing for things like National Championship college football games is pathetic.

Sinclair, the Fox regional sports network owner, can probably eventually find a landing spot for him as a contributor on Eric Bollings show where he can be celebrated as a "victim".
 

Kliq

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The conversations here are reminding me of Kobe Bryant, who in 2011 was fined for calling an NBA ref "a fucking f*****" but a few years later scolded a fan on Twitter for using "gay" as an insult, and drew comments from GLAAD for his positive development in using that kind of language. That to me would be the path for Brennaman, use this as a moment to educate yourself and become an advocate for change.

 

sean1562

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The big difference is Kobe was one of the best players in the history of basketball and Thom Brennaman is some nobody from Cincinnati. No young kids are gonna read his tweets and be impacted by them at all. There are plenty of people that can do what Brennaman does.
 
Hi everyone. First post! I've read and loved SOSH since my years in Boston (2002-2010). While living there, I worked for one of the local sports teams, and then left town to work in network sports. I worked a lot of sports (never baseball, though), both live and then in the edited/doc world, and I got an account mostly to weigh in on football and media matters, so with that said...

I think one of the saddest aspects of all of this is that the first question for many is, "What will happen to Thom Brennamen's job?? Is this cancel culture??" Guys, for a place that loves the game of baseball, this is a huge smear against the game, and a moment that deeply hurt and offended MANY fans, both LGBTQ and non-, myself included. It felt hateful, demeaning, and flat out gross in 2020. The focus needs to be on fixing that damage, and making clear this game is a welcome place for anyone who wants to watch or play the game. Fortunately, players seem to be leading the way.

For a place so aware of the damage done by Tom Yawkey's backwards racism, I'm shocked to see so many chalk this up as a "mistake," or a "hot mic moment". Something "we've all said." Have I said it? Probably, though I can't honestly remember. I was once a younger a-hole in a different time. But that word has been off limits for, conservatively, two decades. Adapt or die. He goes on-air every night using his words and voice as a representative of the Reds and Major League Baseball. How in the hell could he comport himself in that way in that role? And how damaging is it to the game that he acts like that? Our favorite baseball team is struggling with that legacy to this day! So are the Reds, and their history with Marge Schott. And that comes from an era before the internet, where memory is foggy and less is documented. His actions are a disgrace to baseball, have no place in the game-- and are on tape, and trending for all the world to hear.

And here's my other thing. This wasn't "a mistake," a "slip up," or a "hot mic moment." This is CLEARLY who is, and he seems very comfortable being this person on mic to the 20-30 on the production crew that are listening. Why not people at home? The emphasis he put on the word, the way he said it, should make it clear that this wasn't a "mistake". He thought this sort of thing was perfectly acceptable for him to say-- even though he should know better that it is cruel, hateful, and divisive. He clearly just didn't care, or think it mattered if he said it. Which is just appalling. I know the Reds producer and have worked with him-- he is a great guy, and actually a man of faith. But I have had to rethink what I know about him and his producing skill if this how his talent acts around the production crew. I've been on headset with pros in the toughest and loosest moments sports have to offer-- and I was SHOCKED he would say that at all, let alone on headset. It is a clear indictment of not just him, but the atmosphere around that broadcast team. Honestly, if I were the Reds, I wouldn't have him work ever again, and I'd probably suspend the higher ups on that production crew until the end of the year, and take a long hard look at how my team is being represented.

Lastly, if you're MLB or the NFL-- the two sports he does-- how could you ever bring him back? These leagues look at their fan demographics every year, and the reality is that most of their fans are white men over 50 years old. They need to get younger and more diverse. Are you going to risk all that over... Thom Brennamen? Do you want to be the commissioner to go to the league CMOs and broadcast committee, and the 30 team owners and all their CMOs, and say, "I've seen all the same demographic info as you, and I know we need a younger, wider audience... but I've decided to risk that over Thom Brennamen. We don't want to get caught up in cancel culture!" If I was a multi-billionaire who entrusted you to protect the best interests of my league, I'd almost fire YOU on the spot.

This incident was awful, and Thom Brennamen's career direction is about the least interesting part of it. Whatever, he's done... He probably never needs to work again. This may have cost him a second home in retirement or a few vacations, but he is NOT the victim here. He is the abuser. MLB and the Reds don't owe him a second thought, and all efforts should be done to make clear that this was an aberration, it has no place in the sport or world at large, and all fans and players are welcome in the game. That is the ONLY thing that matters.

Well! That was an aggressive first post! Sure you can't wait for more...
 

EnochRoot

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Feb 7, 2020
69
Hi everyone. First post! I've read and loved SOSH since my years in Boston (2002-2010). While living there, I worked for one of the local sports teams, and then left town to work in network sports. I worked a lot of sports (never baseball, though), both live and then in the edited/doc world, and I got an account mostly to weigh in on football and media matters, so with that said...

I think one of the saddest aspects of all of this is that the first question for many is, "What will happen to Thom Brennamen's job?? Is this cancel culture??" Guys, for a place that loves the game of baseball, this is a huge smear against the game, and a moment that deeply hurt and offended MANY fans, both LGBTQ and non-, myself included. It felt hateful, demeaning, and flat out gross in 2020. The focus needs to be on fixing that damage, and making clear this game is a welcome place for anyone who wants to watch or play the game. Fortunately, players seem to be leading the way.

For a place so aware of the damage done by Tom Yawkey's backwards racism, I'm shocked to see so many chalk this up as a "mistake," or a "hot mic moment". Something "we've all said." Have I said it? Probably, though I can't honestly remember. I was once a younger a-hole in a different time. But that word has been off limits for, conservatively, two decades. Adapt or die. He goes on-air every night using his words and voice as a representative of the Reds and Major League Baseball. How in the hell could he comport himself in that way in that role? And how damaging is it to the game that he acts like that? Our favorite baseball team is struggling with that legacy to this day! So are the Reds, and their history with Marge Schott. And that comes from an era before the internet, where memory is foggy and less is documented. His actions are a disgrace to baseball, have no place in the game-- and are on tape, and trending for all the world to hear.

And here's my other thing. This wasn't "a mistake," a "slip up," or a "hot mic moment." This is CLEARLY who is, and he seems very comfortable being this person on mic to the 20-30 on the production crew that are listening. Why not people at home? The emphasis he put on the word, the way he said it, should make it clear that this wasn't a "mistake". He thought this sort of thing was perfectly acceptable for him to say-- even though he should know better that it is cruel, hateful, and divisive. He clearly just didn't care, or think it mattered if he said it. Which is just appalling. I know the Reds producer and have worked with him-- he is a great guy, and actually a man of faith. But I have had to rethink what I know about him and his producing skill if this how his talent acts around the production crew. I've been on headset with pros in the toughest and loosest moments sports have to offer-- and I was SHOCKED he would say that at all, let alone on headset. It is a clear indictment of not just him, but the atmosphere around that broadcast team. Honestly, if I were the Reds, I wouldn't have him work ever again, and I'd probably suspend the higher ups on that production crew until the end of the year, and take a long hard look at how my team is being represented.

Lastly, if you're MLB or the NFL-- the two sports he does-- how could you ever bring him back? These leagues look at their fan demographics every year, and the reality is that most of their fans are white men over 50 years old. They need to get younger and more diverse. Are you going to risk all that over... Thom Brennamen? Do you want to be the commissioner to go to the league CMOs and broadcast committee, and the 30 team owners and all their CMOs, and say, "I've seen all the same demographic info as you, and I know we need a younger, wider audience... but I've decided to risk that over Thom Brennamen. We don't want to get caught up in cancel culture!" If I was a multi-billionaire who entrusted you to protect the best interests of my league, I'd almost fire YOU on the spot.

This incident was awful, and Thom Brennamen's career direction is about the least interesting part of it. Whatever, he's done... He probably never needs to work again. This may have cost him a second home in retirement or a few vacations, but he is NOT the victim here. He is the abuser. MLB and the Reds don't owe him a second thought, and all efforts should be done to make clear that this was an aberration, it has no place in the sport or world at large, and all fans and players are welcome in the game. That is the ONLY thing that matters.

Well! That was an aggressive first post! Sure you can't wait for more...
Now THAT was a first post. Well stated, and thank you for your inside-the-industry insight.

You touched on what I said in a previous page:

He was clearly comfortable enough to share his views with the people in the booth / on his feed. I can absolutely get onboard with the notion that somebody grew tired of his antics and basically opened the trapdoor so Brennaman would be left to swing on the gallows pole.
Yes, Brenneman was likely pushing boundaries, but there existed a culture there that tolerated and/or openly encouraged it.
 

ColdSoxPack

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Color me naive but I think cancel culture calls for any offender to be banished from the universe, like Superman's Phantom Zone. Sometimes the angry mob needs to take a deep breath. If Thom goes on an apology tour and proves not be an asshole bigot homophobe cat strangler he deserves a second chance. If he doesn't get one, it's no skin off my nose, but I have bigger fish to fry. Just my opinion. I mean it's Thom Brennaman, whoever that is. If Jerry said it now you're talking.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Color me naive but I think cancel culture calls for any offender to be banished from the universe, like Superman's Phantom Zone. Sometimes the angry mob needs to take a deep breath. If Thom goes on an apology tour and proves not be an asshole bigot homophobe cat strangler he deserves a second chance. If he doesn't get one, it's no skin off my nose, but I have bigger fish to fry. Just my opinion. I mean it's Thom Brennaman, whoever that is. If Jerry said it now you're talking.
Nah.

I firmly believe that context matters. Often times, I'm on the opposite side of these convos because I believe people are taking statements out of context and twisting them to vilify people.

Not here. Thom didnt say something horrible like, "stop being so gay" or "stop being such a f*g". While homophobic and horrible, the intent is to insult an individual and a lot of people STILL dont understand the weight of the words they use. What Thom said was, "one of the fag Capitols of the world." His intent was to denounce an entire city because it has a lot of gay people in it. The focus of his anger wasnt another person ("stop being gay!"), it was at gay people themselves.

It's an evil comment and he deserves no second chance. He was a member of the lucky sperm club and got a free ride for almost 60 years. His ride is done.

(Let me be clear, I still think he should lose his job in either case, but the context is different.)
 
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CSteinhardt

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Exactly. He said that *to* somebody, somebody who was going to clearly understand what he was saying, and wouldn't object to it. He knew what he was fucking doing.

Bye. Canceled.
Yeah, this reminds me of the academic departments who suddenly discover that a well-known, senior researcher has been sexually harassing their students for the past decade or two. That doesn't happen without your colleagues knowing it, and so it doesn't happen in a department which is otherwise full of good people who would surely have done something if only they had known it was going on.

The truth is, if he was comfortable saying these things, the people he was talking to were comfortable hearing them, and likely comfortable saying them as well. They just aren't the ones who got caught (this time). Did his partner for the broadcast say anything about it either at the time or later in the game?
 
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Now THAT was a first post. Well stated, and thank you for your inside-the-industry insight.

You touched on what I said in a previous page:



Yes, Brenneman was likely pushing boundaries, but there existed a culture there that tolerated and/or openly encouraged it.
Ha, thanks man. Spelled his damn name wrong the whole post- clearly, it's good I'm no longer fonting games for a living, or I'd be looking for work. Can still spell Krzyzewski without looking it up, though... Will carry that with me to my death bed.

And you-- and many others-- weren't racing to defend him, to be fair. But I saw enough contortionism between here and Twitter that I just kinda... lost it.

Plus, I think I just wanted to stand up for my line of work. I'll grant that I've never had to do the day-in, day-out grind of a baseball season, and things can probably get pretty loose in that environment. But keeping a live broadcast crew together and working as professionals IS the job of the producer, and Brennaman's job is to be the face and voice of that crew, the team, and the sport. When it works, it is beautiful, and I've had some truly great times in those environments. It's hard, grinding work with tons of travel, and you become a defacto family. You see some really gorgeous generosity and care in that world.

So, to allow things to get so out of hand that your talent is talking like that IN the booth is... jaw dropping. I've heard tawdry stories from ex-players, and some dirty jokes on occasion, but it's always in the context of a crew meeting or team dinner. And I've NEVER heard anything as hateful as that from anyone I've worked with, so that was... Wow! I still have a hard time wrapping my head around it.

In a way, it was a refreshing lesson-- "Oh, wow! I AM still capable of being offended! I'm not so desensitized that this doesn't hurt me!"
 

EnochRoot

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Feb 7, 2020
69
Color me naive but I think cancel culture calls for any offender to be banished from the universe, like Superman's Phantom Zone. Sometimes the angry mob needs to take a deep breath. If Thom goes on an apology tour and proves not be an asshole bigot homophobe cat strangler he deserves a second chance. If he doesn't get one, it's no skin off my nose, but I have bigger fish to fry. Just my opinion. I mean it's Thom Brennaman, whoever that is. If Jerry said it now you're talking.
I wouldn't call your take naive. I'd call it deeply suspicious.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Yeah, this reminds me of the academic departments who suddenly discover that a well-known, senior researcher has been sexually harassing their students for the past decade or two. That doesn't happen with your colleagues knowing it, and so it doesn't happen in a department which is otherwise full of good people who would surely have done something if only they had known it was going on.

The truth is, if he was comfortable saying these things, the people he was talking to were comfortable hearing them, and likely comfortable saying them as well. They just aren't the ones who got caught (this time). Did his partner for the broadcast say anything about it either at the time or later in the game?
Typo? You meant "without your colleagues knowing it", yes?
 

EnochRoot

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Feb 7, 2020
69
Of this "cancel culture" as it would appear you need the term to fit your preconceived definition. The term "cancel culture" is a misnomer. It's more a result of being in an age where every little thing you do can be instantly broadcast everywhere. Today forces you to adapt and be accountable. Those who push-back on it see it as cancel culture, and those who they offend are deemed snowflakes.
 

YTF

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Just a quick thought or two on the Brennaman's on air apology. If I was a viewer of that game, fan of the Reds, a member of the LGBTQ community or any combination of the three I would have appreciated his responding during the broadcast more than the following day in a carefully crafted statement co-authored by his attorney/agent. That said, it just didn't go well. You can't defend the indefensible, but you can ask for forgiveness and IMO the "This is not who I am" angle never helps the cause. I'm waiting for the day when someone says, "I like to think that this is not who I am, but my words clearly speak for themselves. Moving forward I will work to be a better person and hope to create something positive from the ugliness I've exhibited."
 
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Sandwich Pick

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Sep 9, 2017
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Now THAT was a first post. Well stated, and thank you for your inside-the-industry insight.

You touched on what I said in a previous page:



Yes, Brenneman was likely pushing boundaries, but there existed a culture there that tolerated and/or openly encouraged it.
Brian Burke had a very thoughtful interview a few years back talking about homophobia in hockey after his son came out.

The interviewer told him that the people talking this way are old enough to know better. Burke agreed, and his response was "Correct. But if it's an accepted part of your culture, and you're never told NOT to do it, you're going to do it."

That's where most of the work has to happen. Making it unacceptable in every culture imaginable.
 
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Red(s)HawksFan

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Brian Burke had a very thoughtful interview a few years back talking about homophobia in hockey after his son came out.

The interviewer told him that the people talking this way are old enough to know better. Burke agreed, and his response was "Correct. But if it's an accepted part of your culture, and you're never told NOT to do it, you're going to do it."

That's where most of the work has to happen. Making it unacceptable in every culture imaginable.
Exactly right. And that's what the suspensions and firings and "cancellings" are all about. Talking about it will only go so far with folks. Sadly, we've got to make examples of folks in order to demonstrate how unacceptable their behavior and attitudes are. A slap on the wrist and a stern talking to won't make anything sink in for the Brennamans of the world. Loss of a job and/or money and/or access and/or reputation is what it takes.
 

santadevil

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I had a good talk with my 15U baseball players today about this too. Things that they think maybe aren't a big deal, could possibly come back to bite them in the future. I told them they're all old enough to know better and even if they are with their friends, it's better to think about what you're saying and why you're saying it. Lead by example and call it out if you hear it

I was prompted to do this after I heard one of my players refer to something as 'gay', right before our game the other day. I spoke to him about in private right there, but spoke to the whole team in general this evening at practice (not calling out the player, but using Brenamann's example, without saying the word) as the example of why you can't and shouldn't say such things. It may seem innocent among closed company, but you may never truly know you who you could be hurting and it's just not right. It's ignorant at best and there's no place or need for it
 

PC Drunken Friar

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I had a good talk with my 15U baseball players today about this too. Things that they think maybe aren't a big deal, could possibly come back to bite them in the future. I told them they're all old enough to know better and even if they are with their friends, it's better to think about what you're saying and why you're saying it. Lead by example and call it out if you hear it

I was prompted to do this after I heard one of my players refer to something as 'gay', right before our game the other day. I spoke to him about in private right there, but spoke to the whole team in general this evening at practice (not calling out the player, but using Brenamann's example, without saying the word) as the example of why you can't and shouldn't say such things. It may seem innocent among closed company, but you may never truly know you who you could be hurting and it's just not right. It's ignorant at best and there's no place or need for it
Thank you very much for doing this. Your team is lucky to have you as a role model.
 

donutogre

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Jul 20, 2005
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I had a good talk with my 15U baseball players today about this too. Things that they think maybe aren't a big deal, could possibly come back to bite them in the future. I told them they're all old enough to know better and even if they are with their friends, it's better to think about what you're saying and why you're saying it. Lead by example and call it out if you hear it

I was prompted to do this after I heard one of my players refer to something as 'gay', right before our game the other day. I spoke to him about in private right there, but spoke to the whole team in general this evening at practice (not calling out the player, but using Brenamann's example, without saying the word) as the example of why you can't and shouldn't say such things. It may seem innocent among closed company, but you may never truly know you who you could be hurting and it's just not right. It's ignorant at best and there's no place or need for it
That's great to read. How did the conversations go over, if you don't mind me asking?
 

joe dokes

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Jul 18, 2005
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I had a good talk with my 15U baseball players today about this too. Things that they think maybe aren't a big deal, could possibly come back to bite them in the future. I told them they're all old enough to know better and even if they are with their friends, it's better to think about what you're saying and why you're saying it. Lead by example and call it out if you hear it

I was prompted to do this after I heard one of my players refer to something as 'gay', right before our game the other day. I spoke to him about in private right there, but spoke to the whole team in general this evening at practice (not calling out the player, but using Brenamann's example, without saying the word) as the example of why you can't and shouldn't say such things. It may seem innocent among closed company, but you may never truly know you who you could be hurting and it's just not right. It's ignorant at best and there's no place or need for it
That's great. Most of us can't change the world, but maybe a small part of it. Like the post above, I'm curious if you got a reaction or sparked a discussion (or whatever passes for "discussions" among 14 y/os).
 

santadevil

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That's great to read. How did the conversations go over, if you don't mind me asking?
That's great. Most of us can't change the world, but maybe a small part of it. Like the post above, I'm curious if you got a reaction or sparked a discussion (or whatever passes for "discussions" among 14 y/os).
Both went okay. I tried not to be too harsh. Just remind them in this day and age, you never know who is listening/recording whatever

We didn't discuss it too much after I spoke. No one had any questions, but I got a few head nods and didn't see any eye rolls, or side glances to teammates, so hopefully they heard most of it and possibly took it to heart

We've told our players each year that they not only represent themselves, but the team, their families and the community
 

The_Powa_of_Seiji_Ozawa

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Sep 9, 2006
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I knew a college student bro at a NESCAC school who got expelled for uttering a similar slur (and throwing a beer bottle) at another kid one night. The next semester he went south and graduated from the University of Alabama. I suspect Thom will have a similar path in his future.
 

Mystic Merlin

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Sep 21, 2007
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Really wise of you not to call the kid out, even anonymously (‘I won’t name names but I know some of you have been saying things like X...’)

I vividly recall a teacher early in high school reading part of a paper I wrote out loud to the class as an example of shitty work. She didn’t name me as the author, but I was mortified. I’m sure the paper WAS shitty, mind you, but I can’t say it helped 14-15 year old me except to teach me that that teaching tactic doesn’t work.
 

Marciano490

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Nov 4, 2007
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Both went okay. I tried not to be too harsh. Just remind them in this day and age, you never know who is listening/recording whatever

We didn't discuss it too much after I spoke. No one had any questions, but I got a few head nods and didn't see any eye rolls, or side glances to teammates, so hopefully they heard most of it and possibly took it to heart

We've told our players each year that they not only represent themselves, but the team, their families and the community
Was the “never know who’s listening” phrased in terms of you might get caught or you might genuinely offend/hurt someone? I’m curious whether it’s more effective to try to convince people to do the right thing or to do the potentially self-beneficial thing.
 

Tangled Up In Red

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Was the “never know who’s listening” phrased in terms of you might get caught or you might genuinely offend/hurt someone? I’m curious whether it’s more effective to try to convince people to do the right thing or to do the potentially self-beneficial thing.
I was thinking it was probably both/either. Different messages resonate with different kids. And even if imperfect, if a result is achieved, it's a positive.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Was the “never know who’s listening” phrased in terms of you might get caught or you might genuinely offend/hurt someone? I’m curious whether it’s more effective to try to convince people to do the right thing or to do the potentially self-beneficial thing.
If the primary lesson is that saying the word(s) at all is bad, then I think putting it in their minds that there is no truly "safe" place to use them (ears are everywhere) is a good deterrent. Whether they're concerned of getting caught/punished or concerned with offending someone, if they believe that saying it at all will have consequences, I think they're less likely to make a habit of saying them or even thinking them.