MLB: Yankees slugger Donaldson accused of racism after 'Jackie' jibe

Agence France-Presse

Posted at May 22 2022 09:21 AM

New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson (L) connects on a RBI single to left center field off of Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Mike Baumann in the seventh inning of their MLB game at the Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York, USA, 28 April 2022. File photo. Jason Szenes, EPA-EFE.
New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson (L) connects on a RBI single to left center field off of Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Mike Baumann in the seventh inning of their MLB game at the Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York, USA, 28 April 2022. File photo. Jason Szenes, EPA-EFE.

NEW YORK -- Chicago manager Tony LaRussa accused New York Yankees slugger Josh Donaldson of making a "racist" remark against White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson after another stormy battle between the two teams on Saturday.

Donaldson, who is white, admitted addressing African-America Anderson as "Jackie" during an exchange early in New York's 7-5 victory at Yankee Stadium.

The remark was seen as a reference to Jackie Robinson, the civil rights icon who became the first Black player in Major League Baseball when he started for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.

"He just made a disrespectful comment," Anderson told reporters after the game.

"Basically he was trying to call me Jackie Robinson. 'What's up, Jackie?' I don't play like that. 

"I wasn't really going to bother nobody today, but he made the comment and you know it was disrespectful and I don't think it was called for. It was unnecessary."

White Sox skipper LaRussa went further, accusing Donaldson of racism.

"He made a racist comment, and that's all I'm going to say," LaRussa said. "That's as strong as it gets."

Donaldson later rejected the claim of racism, saying his remark referred to a 2019 interview Anderson had given in which he described himself as "today's Jackie Robinson."

"My meaning of that is not any term trying to be racist by any fact of the matter," Donaldson said. 

"Obviously, he deemed it disrespectful. And look, if he did, I apologize. That's not what I was trying to do by any manner and that's what happened."

The controversy was the latest flashpoint involving Anderson and Donaldson.

In a game on May 13, the Yankees and White Sox benches cleared after Anderson reacted to a rough tag by Donaldson.

The simmering antipathy between the teams boiled over again in another incident on Saturday which came after the Anderson-Donaldson flashpoint.

The benches emptied in the fifth inning after White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal unleashed a volley of invective at Donaldson.

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