New York Yankees infielder Josh Donaldson came under fire Saturday due to comments he directed at Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson during the weekend series at Yankee Stadium.
Donaldson referred to Anderson as “Jackie,” in reference to Major League Baseball legend Jackie Robinson. White Sox manager Tony LaRussa referred to the comments Saturday as “racist” while Anderson called them “disrespectful.”
Yankees manager Aaron Boone spoke to reporters before New York hosted Chicago in a Sunday doubleheader and expressed his discontent with Donaldson’s comments.
“I understand that Josh has been very forthcoming with the history of it, the context of it. I don’t believe there was any malicious intent with that regard. This is just somewhere, in my opinion, he should not be going,” Boone told reporters, as shared by the New York Post.
Boone is making reference to Donaldson saying the “Jackie” comment is rooted from a 2019 Sports Illustrated interview in which Anderson said he felt like “today’s Jackie Robinson.” Donaldson stressed that there were no racist undertones in his comments.
Boone, who doesn’t believe Donaldson should have put himself in that position, did express how he took note of Donaldson’s explanation.
“When I first heard the name Jackie mentioned, I was really taken aback and frankly upset about it myself,” Boone said, per the Post. “I think when you go back to the context, the original story of where it was born out of, out of the article, and then now a few years of saying that, I’m less taken aback by it at that point.
“But again, I sit here, as a white guy, that did change the context for me, but I also understand how it can be offensive or upsetting.”
Boone said that Donaldson addressed the comments both with the manager and his teammates. Boone does not expect it to impact the clubhouse.
“Again, I think Josh has been very forthcoming and I think was forthcoming yesterday about the history of it,” Boone added. “Not that that makes it a great thing, but it definitely changes the context in my opinion about it. But I certainly understand this is sensitive and you gotta read the room in that sense.”
Anderson was scratched from Chicago’s afternoon lineup.