MLB announced they have suspended New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson for one game and issued a fine for his comments towards Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson.
The talk of the weekend series between the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox surrounded Josh Donaldson’s comments towards Tim Anderson. After Saturday’s game which saw a benches-clearing incident, Anderson revealed that Donaldson called him “Jackie [Robinson],” which he called “disrespectful.” Donaldson confirmed that he said it, but said it was in reference to a 2019 interview with Sports Illustrated in which Anderson said he felt like “today’s Jackie Robinson.”
Even with the explanation by Donaldson, it was not enough to escape punishment by MLB.
On Monday, May 23, MLB announced that Donaldson has been suspended for one game and was issued an undisclosed fine for his comments towards Anderson. Donaldson is appealing the decision.
Why did MLB suspend Josh Donaldson?
“MLB has completed the process of speaking to the individuals involved in this incident,” said MLB senior vice president of on-field operations Michael Hill in an issued statement. “There is no dispute over what was said on the field. Regardless of Mr. Donaldson’s intent, the comment he directed toward Mr. Anderson was disrespectful and in poor judgment, particularly when viewed in the context of their prior interactions. In addition, Mr. Donaldson’s remark was a contributing factor in a bench-clearing incident between the teams, and warrants discipline.”
The incident in question occurred when Donaldson and White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal exchanged words, leading to both benches clearing. Anderson had to be held back by teammates during the incident.
White Sox manager Tony La Russa would not elaborate on the comments made by Donaldson, only calling them “racist.” That was when Anderson revealed that the Yankees third baseman said “what’s up, Jackie [Robinson]” to him.
Donaldson claimed that he joked with Anderson about it in the past, referencing the aforementioned interview. He apologized when speaking with reporters and said he was willing to meet with Anderson if he wanted to.
Just prior to the announcement of the suspension, the Yankees placed Donaldson on the COVID-19 injured list.