On Wednesday, the Tigers fired pitching coach Chris Bosio because he made “racially charged” comments towards a team employee. The Tigers claim the comments “violated Club policy and his Uniform Employee Contract.”
Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the specific problematic comment Bosio made involved the word “monkey” in a conversation that was overheard by and did not involve an African-American clubhouse attendant.
Bosio is hiring an attorney and considering filing a wrongful termination lawsuit against the Tigers. Bosio said, “I’m crushed. I’m absolutely crushed. I still can’t believe it’s gotten to this point. I’m in shock.”
Bosio says his “monkey” comment wasn’t meant in a racial or disparaging way, nor was it directed at the attendant. He claims he was referring to pitcher Daniel Stumpf, who is on the disabled list with an elbow injury. Bosio said, “Someone in our coaches’ room asked me (Monday afternoon) about Stumpf. And I said, ‘Oh, you mean ‘Spider Monkey.’ That’s his nickname. He’s a skinny little white kid who makes all of these funny faces when he works out. [The clubhouse attendant] thought we were talking about him. He got all upset. He assumed we were talking about him. I said, ‘No, no, no. We’re talking about Stumpf.’ And that was it. I swear on my mom and dad’s graves, there was nothing else to it.”
GM Al Avila said about firing Bosio, “We know what we did, and why we did it, and we’ll see where it goes from there. The action we took was appropriate. There were things involved. But I can’t comment any further.”