During last Saturday’s game between the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox, Yankees’ third baseman Josh Donaldson, who is white, referred to White Sox outfielder Tim Anderson, who is Black, as “Jackie.” White Sox manager Tony La Russa labeled the comment “racist” and Anderson later agreed. While Donaldson played it off as an “inside joke” and half-heartedly apologized, Major League Baseball suspended him for one game and issued a fine, which he appealed.

There’s been a lot of discussions in the day since regarding whether or not Donaldson has racist intentions by using the phrase, and whether or not the punishment was just, but now Anderson has clarified further background information between the two and seemingly refuted Donaldson’s reading of the situation.

Anderson confirmed to reporters that Donaldson has referred to him as “Jackie” before, in reference to an interview in which Anderson compared himself to Jackie Robinson, but he disagreed with the assessment that it was a “joke” at that time.

“Tim Anderson didn’t have an opinion either way on Josh Donaldson’s punishment,” wrote ESPN’s Jesse Rogers. “Said it’s true Donaldson called him Jackie in 2019 but Anderson didn’t like it then and so there was no contact between the two while Donaldson was in Minny. Then he called him it on Saturday.”

“I told him, we never have to talk again,” Anderson told Rogers. “I won’t speak to you, you won’t speak to me, if that’s how you’re going to refer to me. I knew he knew exactly what he was doing.”

Anderson added that he has no interest in mending fences with the Yankees player.

“I can definitely move on but I’m not looking for no friendship or relationship from that behalf,” said Anderson.

There’s been a lot of speculation about Donaldson’s intent but Anderson himself doesn’t seem to think the comment was weightless and not without intent. That should be good enough for MLB fans, but of course, people are going to stick to their guns on that no matter what Anderson says.

[Jesse Rogers]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.