Josh Donaldson said he has gained a “mutual understanding” with Tim Anderson about his offensive use of the term “Jackie” and issued an apology to the Robinson family following an on-field exchange that resulted in a one-game suspension for the New York Yankees third baseman.
Donaldson, who has appealed Major League Baseball’s suspension and currently is on the Yankees’ COVID-19 injured list, said in a statement released to MLB.com Thursday that his multiple references to Anderson as “Jackie” in a May 21 game was a “misunderstanding based on multiple exchanges between us over the years,” and he “absolutely meant no disrespect” toward the Chicago White Sox shortstop.
Donaldson said his “Jackie” remarks began after a 2019 Sports Illustrated profile in which Anderson likened his own efforts to diversify the game and divorce it from a stodgy, exclusive past to Robinson’s breaking of baseball’s color barrier in 1947.
A pair of on-field tussles between the White Sox and Yankees broke out after Anderson took offense to Donaldson’s remark.
White Sox manager Tony La Russa called Donaldson’s remarks racist and Anderson said Donaldson’s “Jackie” chidings were never taken in good fun and, in Saturday’s case, were designed to provoke.