Former Tigers pitching coach Chris Bosio was fired after reportedly directing a racial slur at a clubhouse attendant, according to The Athletic.
Bosio referred to the African-American attendant as a "monkey," while the attendant was collecting towels from the coaches' room. Bosio was talking about Tigers pitcher Daniel Stumpf when he referred to the attendant saying, "like this monkey here."
The attendant spoke to Bosio about his comment, and Bosio was given a chance to apologize but did not, reports The Athletic.
The Tigers conducted an internal investigation before firing Bosio on Wednesday. The team released a statement saying Bosio was fired for violating "Club policy and his Uniform Employee Contract."
In an interview with USA Today on Thursday, Bosio claimed his firing was the result of a misunderstanding with the attendant.
Bosio said that the attendant overheard him joking around with other coaches when he called Stumpf a "spider monkey."
"Someone in our coaches’ room asked me [Monday afternoon] about Stumpf," Bosio said. “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 [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."
Bosio said that he was asked about the incident on Tuesday by Tigers GM Alex Avila, assistant GM and general counsel John Westhoff and manager Ron Gardenhire. He "didn't deny" using the term but specified that he said it to reference Stumpf.
Bosio also said that he planned to hire an attorney to see if a wrongful termination lawsuit can be filed.
When asked by The Athletic, the Tigers declined to comment, and Bosio did not return calls seeking comment.
The Tigers hired Bosio during the offseason after he was fired by the Chicago Cubs. Bosio was the pitching coach with the Cubs from 2012 to 2017 and won a World Series in 2016 due to strong performances by Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks and others pitchers.