During a minor league game earlier this month, rowdy baseball fan John Perrault did what rowdy baseball fans do – he taunted Boston Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford.
Crawford is terrible and rambunctious Boston fans are hardly an oddity, so nobody would have thought much of the incident if not for Perrault’s poor word choice.
The word choice was really poor.
Instead of lambasting Crawford for his shoddy play or something of that sort, Perrault, a white Massachusetts cop, referred to Crawford as a Monday.
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A Monday, for those who aren't up on their racial slurs, is a derogatory term for black folks that may or may not have originated on the east coast, but is definitely most frequently used down there. And regardless of whether you’re aware of the term or not, you don’t usually hear people referring to other people as Mondays in general conversation; so when you do have someone calling someone else a Monday, it's probably a safe bet that they’re trying to be derogatory with it.
As soon as he heard the slur – Crawford made stadium security aware of what happened.
This past Thursday, after a lengthy investigation, Perrault was fired.
"You have demonstrated through your racist comments that you cannot continue as a patrol officer," Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella wrote in his termination notice to Perrault (via ESPN).
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Mazzarella’s decision comes on the heels of Police Chief Robert Healey noting that, because Perrault had a history of using derogatory, racist terms, he deserved a strict punishment of some sort.
Of course, Perrault’s lawyer Joseph Sandulli maintains that his client wasn’t trying to be racist.
"He was criticizing Crawford for being a bad player, not because he was a black man,” Sandulli said.
"He feels strongly he didn't mean the comment in a racial way, and he's not a racist, and he wants to establish that.”
Mazzarella wasn’t having any of that.
"In arriving at this conclusion I did not check common sense at the door," he wrote.
"Your actions are so egregious that severe discipline is warranted," he said. "There is no place for someone who exhibits such objectionable behavior in the Leominster Police Department."
In his report, Mazzarella also made note of a St. Patrick’s Day celebration when Perrault allegedly saw a black man wearing a shirt with Guinness on it and said to him: "I didn't know they serve Guinness in Africa."
Maybe he didn't mean that in a racial way either, though.
Prior to his firing, Perrault had been on paid leave ever since July 5 – the day that this incident occurred.