MLB has fined and suspended New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson for one game for the incident on Saturday that caused both benches to clear after a tense moment around home plate.
Grandal and Donaldson exchanged words at home plate, benches cleared, TA had to be restrained pic.twitter.com/3OgsVivV7U— White Sox Talk (@NBCSWhiteSox) May 21, 2022
After the game, Tim Anderson told reporters that Donaldson repeatedly called him “Jackie” in reference to Jackie Robinson.
Chicago White Sox All-Star Tim Anderson says he was called “Jackie Robinson” multiple times by Josh Donaldson in today’s game against the Yankees. pic.twitter.com/729seehiEP— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) May 21, 2022
White Sox manager Tony La Russa described the incident as “racist.”
Tony La Russa alleges Josh Donaldson made a racist comment towards Tim Anderson. Declined to comment further. pic.twitter.com/PAWlac6Y0D— White Sox Talk (@NBCSWhiteSox) May 21, 2022
Donaldson admitted to calling Anderson “Jackie” repeatedly since 2019. He denied any ill or racist intent, claiming that he was “just joking around” based on Anderson comparing himself to Robinson in a 2019 interview.
Josh Donaldson admits he called Tim Anderson "Jackie" on the field today: pic.twitter.com/eko1UaR3Nt— Yankees Videos (@snyyankees) May 21, 2022
“Regardless of Mr. Donaldson’s intent, the comment he directed toward Mr. Anderson was disrespectful and in poor judgment, particularly when viewed in the context of their prior interactions. In addition, Mr. Donaldson’s remark was a contributing factor in a bench-clearing incident between the teams, and warrants discipline,” said Michael Hill, Major League Baseball’s senior vice president for on-field operations.
Aaron Boone also commented on the suspension.
Donaldson is appealing the suspension and was placed on the COVID-19 protocol earlier today. Unfortunately for Donaldson, inside jokes require more than one person.