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Tim Anderson Accuses Josh Donaldson of Saying Racist Remark

Source: Sarah Stier / Getty

A rumble almost went down in the Bronx after Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson accused New York Yankees‘ slugger Josh Donaldson of making a “racist” remark to him.

Tempers flared, and benches cleared on Saturday (May 21) after Tim Anderson went after Josh Donaldson for calling him “Jackie Robinson.”

“He just made a, you know, disrespectful comment,” Anderson said. “Basically, it was trying to call me Jackie Robinson. Like, ‘What’s up, Jackie?'”

“I don’t think it was called for,” the Black Major League Baseball star added following the Yankees’ 7-5 victory over the White Sox.

Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa also flat out called it “a racist comment,” Anderson would also share the sentiments later in the clubhouse following the game. La Russa himself has also been accused of racism in the past after Ron Gant accused him of having issues with Black players. 

Donaldson began calling Anderson, one of the more prominent Black players in the league, Jackie after he likened himself to Jackie Robinson in a 2019 Sports Illustrated interview.

“I kind of feel like today’s Jackie Robinson … because he changed the game, and I feel like I’m getting to a point to where I need to change the game,” Anderson told the sports publication.

Jackie Robinson is celebrated every year in Major League Baseball and across sports for breaking the MLB color barrier in 1947. To honor Robinson, all teams across the league have retired the no.42.

Donaldson did admit to what Anderson said, stating, “I called him Jackie,” but also pointing out that he “joked around” with Anderson in the past, claiming it was an inside joke between the two players.

“I thought that was a joke between (us) because we’ve talked about it before,” Donaldson said. “That’s why I thought it was funny between us.”

“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,” he said. “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 MLB quickly announced it would investigate the situation and suspended Donaldson for one game for his comments deemed “inappropriate.” Donaldson said he would appeal the decision, White Sox reporter James Fegan tweeted.

“The comment he directed toward Mr. Anderson was disrespectful and in poor judgment, particularly when viewed in the context of their prior interactions.”

To make matters worse for Donaldson, Yankees manager Aaron Boone announced Donaldson is now on the COVID-IL, joining Yankees catcher Kyle Higashioka and Joey Gallo.

Baseball does have a race problem, with only 7% of all players being Black. This latest incident puts that alarming stat into the spotlight.

Photo: Sarah Stier / Getty