MLB: Yankees slugger suspended over 'Jackie' taunt

Agence France-Presse

Posted at May 24 2022 09:18 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 -- New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson was suspended for one game and given an undisclosed fine by Major League Baseball on Monday for a remark to Chicago White Sox player Tim Anderson that triggered accusations of racism.

Donaldson sparked uproar during the Yankees' ill-tempered clash with the White Sox on Saturday after addressing African-American shortstop Anderson as "Jackie".

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.

White Sox manager Tony LaRussa later characterized Donaldson's comment as "racist."

Donaldson, who is white, denied wrongdoing, claiming the remark referenced a 2019 interview in which Anderson described himself as "today's Jackie Robinson."

"MLB has completed the process of speaking to the individuals involved in this incident," Major League Baseball's vice president for on-field operations Michael Hill said in a statement on Monday.

"There is no dispute over what was said on the field. 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."

Hill said the incident had contributed to a bench-clearing clash between players from both teams later in the game.

"Donaldson's remark was a contributing factor in a bench-clearing incident between the teams, and warrants discipline," Hill said.

On Saturday, Anderson had accused Donaldson of making a "disrespectful comment" with his 'Jackie' taunt.

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

"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 unneccessary."

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.

On Sunday, Anderson was booed by Yankees fans as he rounded the bases after blasting a three-run homer into the Yankees Stadium stands, a day after the latest controversy with Donaldson.

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