‘A lot wrong with a lot of people’ criticizing apology

November 13, 2021
In this Sept. 25, 2019, file photo, Cincinnati Reds broadcaster Thom Brennaman sits in a special outside booth before the Reds' baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers in Cincinnati.
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Former Cincinnati Reds broadcaster Thom Brennaman appeared this week on the podcast of former Sacramento Kings broadcaster Grant Napear and suggested he has seen and heard enough of the criticism of his on-air apology in 2020 for using a homophobic slur, which included a Nick Castellanos home-run call.

Napear asked Brennaman during the “If You Don’t Like That With Grant Napear,” podcast if the amount of criticism of his apology has bothered him.

“Yes, when you’re going through in that moment in time and you’re live on television,” Brennaman said. “There is a game going on which you’re also trying to announce – because that’s why you’re there. And all of these things are going through your mind including, you know, there’s a real good chance that after you apologize, you know you might never work in that baseball world, the NFL world, the basketball world – whatever it might be. You might never have a chance to do something that you only know now to do for 35 years.

“And so, you know, I’m apologizing and it’s heartfelt, it’s sincere, I meant it. And then, you know, one of the Reds players, Nick Castellanos, hits a home run. I call the home run in the middle of the apology. Now that’s blown up into this whole thing that’s taken on an entire life of its own. I’ve never met Nick Castellanos’ wife. But, you know, she came out and has made the point, you know, ‘Enough. You know, enough. This guy lost his career during that home run.’ And she doesn’t owe me anything. …

“When people criticize what I said, that’s fine, I get it. But for people to criticize a sincere apology when everything that was going on in my quote-unquote world at that point in time – it was the best I could do. And once you hear people, Grant, start criticizing your apology? That’s when you know that there is a lot wrong with a lot of people. Not just me – and I’ve got a lot wrong with me. There is a lot wrong in this world.”

A few months ago, Brennaman appeared on “The Josh Potter Show” and discussed a number of subjects, including being able to accept people’s jokes about the now-famous “drive into deep left field by Castellanos” call he made while apologizing.

From Brennaman in July:

You know it bothered me for a long time and it bothered my son a lot – who is 16 years old – that it’s almost become a joke. And I’m not on Twitter. I’m not on social media. Because I can be told by my wife what a jerk I am all the time. I don’t need 10,000 other people telling me what a jerk I am. But to make light of it, like, you know ‘the Castellanos home run’ – I mean I’ve heard it 1,000 times. You know, at the end of the day – now that a year has gone by – I can laugh about it. There’s this charity here in town that I’m working with, with children at a children’s home in Northern Kentucky … kids that have been thrown out of their homes for being gay, or being transgender. … It’s unimaginable if you’re a parent. And we’re thinking about putting together a T-shirt with something like, you know, ‘And Castellanos has homered’ – trying to raise money for this children’s home. (The idea) was great. But it really bothered me deeply because, I mean, I wasn’t dying. And my wife wasn’t dying. My kids weren’t dying. Our dogs weren’t dying. … It was just though – it was a tough moment. And you’re doing your very, very best. And really at the end of the day, you just do the very, very best you can. And I’ve tried to do that since then. And we’ll see what happens.

“I’m not dying, I’m not sick, my kids aren’t sick, my wife’s not sick. But professionally, I’m very sick,” Brennaman continued during Napear’s podcast. “And literally with one word off the air, all of it (gone). I mean all of it! You go from making great money, a great life. And I’m still living a great life. But all of a sudden for the first time since I was 13 years old busing tables at a restaurant down the street, my income went to zero. And you don’t have a job. And then even more importantly, you don’t have anybody that even wants to consider giving you a job. And that still holds true today.

“I mean, I’m part-owner of a small, little company that does high school football. … And it’s been awesome. But I mean if I wasn’t part-owner in the company, I’m not working. But again, I’ve always said – I’ve said to my wife since Day 1. I’ve said, ‘You know what, at the end of the day, this is gonna be the best thing that ever happened to us. Because somebody’s gonna come along, give us a chance.’ You’re gonna be far more appreciative. I took a lot of this stuff for granted, Grant. You know, I really did for a long, long time. And I know God’s got a plan. And I’m gonna be in a better place. I’m already in a better place as a man, as a dad, as a husband – all those things. And I’ll be a better announcer for somebody if I get a chance.”

Brennaman and Napear agreed that they aren’t sure whether opportunities will ever present themselves for either of them. Napear had lost his job over an “all lives matter” tweet.

“What happened to me happened to me, and I’m the one who dug my own grave,” Brennaman told Napear. “Your situation is just one … for the life of me I just don’t understand it. I don’t get it. I don’t understand where we live in a world where what you said should be harmful to anybody. What I said can be harmful to a lot of people and is. But what you said is just … I’m so sorry it’s happened to you too.”

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