Cincinnati Reds announcer Thom Brennaman says he's "ashamed" that he used a homophobic slur on air ... and says he's now dedicating himself to working with the LGBTQ community to grow from this experience.
"As many of you know, I said something hateful on the air Wednesday night," Brennaman said in a long op-ed posted on Cincinnati.com ... "something no one should ever say."
Courtesy of MLB
Brennaman says he didn't realize the homophobic f-word was "so rooted in hate and violence" -- and says he vows to never use it again.
"I cannot erase what I have done," Thom said. "The only thing I can do is humbly apologize, accept the consequences of my actions and resolve to be better and behave differently from now on."
Brennaman directly addresses the LGBTQ+ community ... saying, "I am truly and deeply sorry. You should never be denigrated with crude and hateful language. I failed you, and I cannot say enough how sorry I am."
Brennaman also says he has already spoken with MLB exec Billy Bean -- who's openly gay -- and Bean has agreed to work with him on how to "become a more informed person."
"I immediately plan to participate in diversity, equity and inclusion training and have reached out to PFLAG for resources and guidance," Thom said.
Brennaman -- who's been suspended by the Reds and pulled from the "NFL on FOX" schedule -- says he doesn't know if he'll ever work in broadcasting again ... but says this incident has forced him to "reflect on who I am and how I am want to be seen and thought of."
"I hope the LGBTQ+ community, the Reds and their fans and the people of Cincinnati can find a way to think better of me," Thom said. "With all the humility I can muster, I ask for your forgiveness."