Former Detroit Tigers pitching coach Chris Bosio told USA Today on Thursday that he was “crushed” by his sudden firing and planned to hire a lawyer in an effort to clear his name.
Bosio told the newspaper that he was fired because he used the term “spider monkey” in a conversation that was overheard by an African-American clubhouse attendant. Bosio insisted that the term was not directed at the clubhouse attendant, nor was it said in a racially disparaging fashion.
Bosio said the comment was made in reference to Daniel Stumpf, a white pitcher currently on the disabled list.
The Tigers fired Bosio on Wednesday because they said he used “insensitive comments” toward a staff member in a way that violated team policy and his employment contract. Tigers general manager Al Avila refused to discuss the nature of the comments.
“For me and our organization we felt that this was a much-needed move,” Avila said. “We have zero tolerance as far as this is concerned, on the field or off the field. That’s our policy in our organization and what we believe and we felt that we made the right decision.”
Allegations of racism can be a career-killer, which is why Bosio said he’s adamant about clearing his name, even if he knows he will never coach for the Tigers again.
“I’ve got protect myself someway, because this is damaging as hell to me,” Bosio told the newspaper. “I’ve got to fight for myself. Everyone knows this is not me. I didn’t use any profanity. There was no vulgarity. The N-word wasn’t used. No racial anything. It was a comment, and a nickname we used for a player.”