Tigers Pitching Coach Fired For Calling Black Employee A Monkey

Trumps America rears its evil head again this time in MLB. Detroit Tigers pitching coach Chris Bosio was fired on Wednesday, after he directing a racial slur toward a clubhouse attendant following a game this past week, The Athletic has reported. The team was notified prior to the clubs 3-0 loss to the Oakland Athletics. 

Bosio called the African-American attendant a monkey, according to four team sources. 

Ken Rosenthal on Twitter

Sources: #Tigers fired pitching coach Chris Bosio after he directed a racial epithet at a clubhouse attendant. Story with @KatieJStrang, unlocked, free to all: https://t.co/hXufhkI7wh

Bosio was reportedly upset with one of his pitchers after the game, when the attendant came in to collect towels and  Bosio gestured toward the attendant while discussing the pitcher and said, like this monkey here, sources say. 

A brief verbal confrontation ensued, witnessed by a team employee. Bosio probably could have apologized and kept his job, but he stood by his bigotry and in less than 48 hours an internal investigation, led by general manager Al Avila and the teams general counsel and assistant general manager John Westhoff was conducted and the decision to give Bosio the boot was unanimous. 

In the statement issued by the team immediately following his dismissal, the Tigers noted that Bosios actions violated the Uniform Employee contract and that his insensitive comments violated team policy.

For me, and our organization, we felt this was a much-needed move, Avila said on Wednesday.

In his first public comments following his dismissal, Bosio maintains that his comments were misinterpreted. The 55-year-old former MLB pitcher claimed that he was referring to Tigers reliever Daniel Stumpf as Spider Monkey because of the strange faces the lefty makes when he works out. Bosio claimed that this is Stumpfs nickname, and that the clubhouse attendant heard the word monkey.

Sports Illustrated on Twitter

Former Tigers pitching coach Chris Bosio said he was fired for calling pitcher Daniel Stumpf a “spider monkey” https://t.co/xggIU1GiEA

Ive got [sic] protect myself someway, Bosio said, according to USA Today, because this is damaging as hell to me. Ive got to fight for myself. Everyone knows this is not me. I didnt use any profanity. There was no vulgarity. The N-word wasnt used. No racial anything. It was a comment, and a nickname we used for a player.

This kid and I had a great relationship. This kid played jokes on me all spring, and I told him, Now youre offended, because you heard the word monkey, or spider monkey, and its not even directed at you.

We crack fat jokes on our trainer every day. All kinds of things are said in a baseball clubhouse. And for this to happen to me?

I dont know what else to say, but I know I dont deserve this.

Stumpf didn’t back up the coach’s racism, telling The Detroit Free Press that he has no knowledge of the nickname, but it doesnt matter now.  Bosio’s firing is another example of how sports franchises will no longer tolerate any form of racial discrimination or vile, oppressive language towards its employees. 

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.