Josh Donaldson has spoken.
The Yankees infielder called Tim Anderson “Jackie,” referring to him as Jackie Robinson in the fifth inning of New York’s eventual win over the Chicago White Sox last weekend. The benches cleared, and Anderson had to be held back. Anderson, who is Black, told reporters it was a “disrespectful comment.”
The White Sox shortstop referred to himself as the “today’s Jackie Robinson” in 2019. Donaldson chalked it up to an inside joke between the two, but Anderson disputed that and told Donaldson to never speak to him again after being called “Jackie” in 2019.
“First and foremost, I have the utmost respect for what Tim Anderson brings to the game of baseball,” Donaldson said, per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand. “I stated over the weekend that I apologized for offending Tim and that it was a misunderstanding based on multiple exchanges between us over the years. My view of that exchange hasn’t changed and I absolutely meant no disrespect. In the past, it had never been an issue and now that it is, we have a mutual understanding.
“I would also like to apologize to Mrs. Rachel Robinson and the Jackie Robinson family for any distress this incident may have caused. Jackie was a true American hero and I hold his name in the highest regard.”
Donaldson’s teammate Aaron Judge condemned what was said earlier this week.