New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson finally has apologized to Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson after what Anderson considered a racially charged conversation between the two when Donaldson referred to Anderson as “Jackie,” a reference to Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson, who was the first African-American to break the color barrier in Major League Baseball.
Anderson took offense to what Donaldson said and the third baseman was suspended for one game. Anderson also verified that Donaldson had referred to him as “Jackie” once before though he refuted the notion that he took it as a joke.
To all the people twisting themselves into pretzels to defend Josh Donaldson, stop and just listen. Your opinion of this doesn’t matter. I know that’s hard for you to hear but it’s true whether you believe it or not. Tim is telling you how HE took Donaldson’s words https://t.co/SZoUyJJBhx
— Herb Lawrence (@Ecnerwal23) May 21, 2022
The reference came from a time when Anderson referred to himself as the next Jackie Robinson in an interview.
Tim Anderson calling himself “the new Jackie Robinson” because he draws inspiration from Robinson’s legacy doesn’t give Josh Donaldson permission to call him Jackie
Flippantly calling Anderson “Jackie” minimizes baseball’s history of racism and the pain it’s caused https://t.co/2sbjg30tWu
— Joon Lee (@joonlee) May 21, 2022
Now, Donaldson has released a statement in part apologizing to Anderson.
Statement from Josh Donaldson: pic.twitter.com/suVndRyAze
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) May 26, 2022
“First and foremost, I have the utmost respect for what Tim Anderson brings to the game of baseball,” Donaldson’s statement read. “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.”