Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson has spoken out about the racial controversy that surfaced after he called White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson “Jackie.” He was fined and suspended for one game following the incident that White Sox manager Tony La Russa deemed “racist.”
Donaldson called Anderson, who is Black, the name in reference to Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson, who broke baseball’s color barrier in 1947. Donaldson later explained that this was a reference to an inside joke between him and Anderson after the shortstop called himself “today’s Jackie Robinson” in an interview with Sports Illustrated in 2019. However, Anderson said that he previously told Donaldson not to refer to him by that name.
Anderson told reporters postgame he did not appreciate Donaldson’s “disrespectful” comment and claimed he did not say anything to prompt the remark. The White Sox infielder had to be restrained by teammates during a benches-clearing incident after a confrontation with the Yankees third basemen during the May 21 game.
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Despite the situation, Donaldson said he was “hurt” by how his Yankees teammates didn’t stand up for him throughout this whole situation. Yankees manager Aaron Boone and outfielder Aaron Judge both expressed their disappointment in Donaldson after the comment, while various other teammates said that the third baseman was “wrong” for what he said.
“I think that was tough to hear, for sure, just for the simple fact that I pride myself on being a good teammate, and everywhere I’ve went, every organization that I’ve been a part of, minus Oakland, has offered me extensions, has wanted me to stay back,” Donaldson said, via ESPN.
“They’ve showed that they wanted me a part of their team,” Donaldson continued. “Obviously it didn’t work out that way. And that’s just the business end of it. And also everywhere I went, I’ve won. I think part of winning is having good team chemistry, and I’ve taken pride everywhere I’ve went I’ve always tried to help people try to get better.”
Donaldson admitted that he hasn’t spoken with Anderson since the incident. However, the 36-year-old did issue an apology to Jackie Robinson’s family last week.
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