Tim Anderson, a shortstop for the Chicago White Sox, took exception to Josh Donaldson calling him “Jackie,” a racial slur considered “racist” by manager Tony La Russa after the game.
After the game, Donaldson admitted to calling Anderson “Jackie” in the first inning, a reference to Jackie Robinson. He offered his apologies, saying he didn’t mean to offend. Anderson, a Black player, took exception to the comment, which he revealed to the media following the game.
As Anderson put it, “He just made a derogatory statement.” “He was calling me Jackie Robinson, I think. The question, “What’s going on, Jackie?” That’s not how I play. I don’t actually play any games. Normally, I wouldn’t have bothered anyone today, but he made the comment, and you know it was disrespectful and I don’t think it was warranted. It didn’t need to be there.”
In a 2019 interview with Sports Illustrated, Anderson stated he felt like “today’s Jackie Robinson,” saying he’s “coming to a point where I need to alter the game.” Donaldson, who is white, said the “Jackie” comment was in reference to Donaldson’s whiteness.
Donaldson claimed on Saturday that he’d “joked around” with Anderson in the past about the reference.
According to a source who spoke to ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez, Major League Baseball is looking into the incident and has spoken to all parties involved.
During Robinson’s time in the major leagues, he became the first African-American player to play in a game. All of the major league teams have retired his No. 42 as a mark of respect for the struggles, sacrifices, and positive influence he had on baseball and society as a whole.
As the teams left the field in the third inning, Donaldson was yelling at Anderson as he neared second base. Aaron Boone took Donaldson, the previous AL MVP in his first season with the Yankees, off the field, while third-base coach Joe McEwing led off Anderson, an All-Star shortstop.
The only thing I’m going to say about that is that he said something racist, Donaldson. La Russa described it as “as powerful as it gets.”
Yes, I agree with La Russa, Anderson replied. Same. Similar to this, ”
When asked about the event, Donaldson stated he would be open to meeting with Anderson and hearing his version of the story.
“My meaning of that is not any phrase aiming to be racist by the fact of the case,” Donaldson stated. “It was clear to him that it was insulting. In any case, I sincerely apologise if he did so in any way. No matter what I tried to avoid doing, the result was the same: a failure.”
When Anderson objected to Donaldson’s forceful tag on May 13 in Chicago, the Yankees and White Sox had their benches cleared.
He stated Saturday that he was “trying to alleviate” any leftover tension when the players crossed paths early in the game, which he said he accomplished.
Yasmani Grandal, the White Sox catcher, stood up from his crouch in the fifth inning of Saturday’s game and began berating Donaldson as he neared the plate. As relievers streamed onto the field and the benches began to empty, the screaming continued, with La Russa hollering at Donaldson.
To reporters, Grandal told them, “I’m sure you don’t want me to tell you what I told him.”
Detained by Jose Abreu and Gavin Sheets, Anderson screamed at Donaldson as he was restrained. After the umpires gave both teams warnings and Donaldson struck out, the game was over.
Afterward, Grandal stated, “I think we’ve come a long way since this game went through a period of time where a lot of those statements were made.” “And it’s simply not acceptable. ” I just thought that was a cheap shot, and I want to make it clear that I have the support of my team in this. You have no right to say anything like that.”
“I know… some chatter of it,” Boone said of the incident. “I have to find out what happened.”
On Sunday, a doubleheader between the White Sox and Yankees will serve as the final regular-season games.