Pro sports TV and radio personality Thom Brennaman’s voice was missing from the airways when the NFL recently kicked off the new season. All because he said the word “fag” on a hot mike in 2020. At the same time, NFL players who committed serious crimes continue playing. Sports-writer Andy Furman says that if Brennaman wore a uniform, he’d still be calling games on Sundays.
“Something was missing when the NFL season kicked-off last weekend,” Furman complained. He went on to list several pro athletes who committed egregious crimes and survived to play another day. None of these scoundrels were missing on the NFL’s opening day.
The absence was Brennaman, who, just over two years ago during a Major League Baseball broadcast, made a career-killing comment. “"one of the (expletive) capitals of the world." He was yanked off the air before the game ended.
Drug and alcohol abuse, arrests, striking and killing a pedestrian can all be forgiven by Big Sports. But the unforgivable sin is angering the LGBT mob, and for doing that Brennaman is dead to the industry. Moments after the slip of the tongue, Brennaman apologized. "I made a comment earlier tonight that I guess went out over the air that I am deeply ashamed of. If I have hurt anyone out there, I say from the bottom of my heart that I am very sorry."
As the furor began over the fag word, Brennaman resigned as the Cincinnati Reds play-by-play announcer. Fox Sports canned him and banned him from NFL broadcasting, after 26 years with the network. He had followed in his father Marty’s footsteps in their family’s long legacy of Reds’ broadcasting.
Furman listed several grievous NFL bad boys who should have been missing from the 2022 opening of the NFL season. “Punishment comes in different sizes, shapes and forms,” he wrote. “For athletes − talent always trumps trouble.”
Deshaun Watson is at the top of Furman’s list. Despite a history of sexual misconduct with dozens of massage therapists, the Cleveland quarterback will play later this year after serving an 11-game suspension.
The NFL reinstated Atlanta quarterback Michael Vick after a two-year exile and jail time for his part in a dogfighting scandal.
Adam “Pacman” Jones, a former Cincinnati Bengal was arrested an NFL record 10 times, but he was repeatedly allowed to return. In 12 NFL seasons, his rap sheet includes numerous assault and battery charges. His part in a fight at a strip club led to three people getting shot.
Donte’ Stallworth, a Cleveland receiver, struck and killed a pedestrian in Miami while driving drunk. He received a one-year suspension after pleading guilty to a charge of manslaughter. The NFL welcomed him back for three more seasons.
A Baltimore tight end got suspensions of one year and four games for twice violating the substance abuse policy. He had been suspended for four games in the 2016 season for the same violation. The league cleared his return in 2018.
Furman says, “And get this − hope you’re listening Thom.” Travis Henry, of Denver, drew a year-long suspension for a drug charge and a three-year prison sentence for financing drug sales. The NFL took him back in 2018.
“Talent does trump trouble − get the picture?”, Furman asks.
But wait, there’s more! Josh Gordon, a receiver now playing with the Titans, has been suspended six times for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, but was ruled eligible to play in September.
Quarterback Tom Brady got a mild slap on the wrist – a four-game suspension – for the Deflategate scandal in 2016.
“Drugs, drinking, arrests, striking and killing a pedestrian,” Furman wrote. “All of these would have probably gotten him (Brennaman) back behind a microphone. He had a slip of the tongue with an open microphone. And his career was done. Something is terribly wrong. Don’t you think?”
As Furman noted, it’s unfortunate that Brennaman doesn’t wear a uniform. If he did, he’d be calling NFL games again on Sundays. The word “fag” is considered an unforgiveable sin that trumps all the horrible crimes committed by the athletes listed above. That's because it betrays the NFL, the league that is, in its own words, “gay, lesbian, queer, transgender.”