MLB Investigation After Yankees Donaldson Was Accused Of Racist Comment To White Sox’ Anderson

Chicago White Sox star shortstop Tim Anderson accused Yankees slugger Josh Donaldson of making a racist remark by calling him Jackie Robinson during Saturday’s game against New York.

“He just made a, you know, disrespectful comment,” said Anderson, who is Black, “Actually tried to call me Jackie Robinson. Like, “What’s up, Jackie?”

“I don’t think it was necessary,” Anderson added after New York’s 7-5 win at Yankee Stadium.

Major League Baseball is investigating the incident and speaking with those involved.

Anderson, an all-star who is among the leading black voices in baseball, told Sports Illustrated in 2019, “I feel a bit like today’s Jackie Robinson…because he changed the game, and I feel like I’m at a point where I have to change the game.”

Donaldson said in the first inning, “I called him Jackie.” The white-ball player also said he’s “joked” with Anderson using the same reference in the past, citing the 2019 Sports Illustrated interview.

Robinson broke the MLB color barrier in 1947. Every team in the major leagues has withdrawn their number 42 to honor the struggle, sacrifice and social impact he had on the game and beyond.

“My meaning of this is not a term that tries to be racist by any means,” Donaldson said. “Of course he thought it was disrespectful,” he said. “And look, if he did, I apologize. That’s in no way what I was trying to do and that’s what happened.”

previous incident

Donaldson got off with Anderson on May 13 in Chicago after making a hard tag, and Anderson responded with a shove, resulting in clearing the benches and bullpens. Donaldson said on Saturday that he “tried” to ease any lingering tension as the players crossed early in the game.

Anderson said Donaldson made a “Jackie” in the first few innings: “I saved him that time, and then it happened again.”

Third base umpire Chris Guccione, left, separates Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson, center, and White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson during the first inning of a game in Chicago on May 13. (Nam Y. Huh/The Associated Press)

White Sox manager Tony La Russa also called Donaldson’s comment “racist” and added: “That’s as strong as it gets.”

In the third inning, Donaldson rounded out second base after the last out and started chewing with Anderson as the teams came off the field. Donaldson was led off the field by Yankees manager Aaron Boone and Anderson was led by third base coach Joe McEwing.

Banks free

In the fifth, White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal rose from his haunches and confronted Donaldson as he approached the plate.

“Believe me, you don’t want me to tell you what I told him,” Grandal told reporters.

The barking continued as relievers rushed in from the bullpens, emptying the benches, while La Russa – a member of baseball’s Hall of Fame – also yelled at Donaldson.

Anderson also continued to yell at Donaldson as he was stopped by White Sox slugger Jose Abreu and infielder Gavin Sheets. After a few minutes, umpires gave warnings to both sides and Donaldson struckout.

“This game went through a period where a lot of those comments were meant to be, and I think we’re way past that,” Grandal said after the game. “And it’s just unacceptable. I just thought it was a low blow and I want to make sure I have my team back. There’s no way you can say something like that.”

Boone said of the incident: “I know… it’s being talked about. I need to get to the bottom of it.”

Last season with Minnesota, Donaldson got into a fight with the White Sox when he appeared to yell “no longer tacky” — a reference to substances pitchers use to control the ball — after hitting a homer against Chicago ace Lucas Giolito.

Leave a Comment