Detroit Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire on Friday defended the decision to fire pitching coach Chris Bosio for what the team called insensitive comments toward a clubhouse attendant.
"I think this has been a reality check for everybody that hey, we're not going to stand for this anymore," Gardenhire told reporters Friday. "We've got to get this out of lives and our systems and treat each other with respect.
"This has been going on and it's probably overdue and it needs to be pushed even harder. This is why the Tigers did what they've had to do, which is very important."
In an interview with USA Today, Bosio said he used the word "monkey" to describe Tigers reliever pitcher Daniel Stumpf, who is white. However, Bosio said a clubhouse attendant who is African-American overheard what he said and thought Bosio was talking about him.
"Someone in our coaches' room asked me [Monday afternoon] about Stumpf,'' Bosio told USA Today. "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."
Stumpf told the Detroit Free Press on Friday that he was unfamiliar with that nickname.
"I think the Tigers have handled it very well up to this point," Gardenhire said. "I think this is a very serious situation and it's affected a lot of people."
Gardenhire added: "We try to keep it to baseball. Obviously, this is more than baseball. This is something that had to be addressed and the organization has done that. There's still rhetoric coming back and we hear it and we have to push past it. That's all we talk about. It's all we can do."