He’s out of here. Major League Baseball has fined and suspended New York Yankees player Josh Donaldson for one game in the wake of his “disrespectful” comments toward Chicago White Sox star Tim Anderson.
“There is no dispute over what was said on the field,” the league said in a statement on Monday, May 23, after Donaldson, 35, and Anderson, 28, sparked a fight during their Saturday, May 21, game. “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.”
The statement continued: “In addition, Mr. Donaldson’s remark was a contributing factor in a bench-clearing incident between the teams, and warrants discipline.”
During the fifth inning of the game at Yankee Stadium in New York on Saturday, White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal confronted the Yankees slugger at home plate. Both teams cleared the benches and began pushing and shoving one another while Anderson’s teammates held him back. After the game, Chicago’s manager Tony La Russa told reporters that Donaldson “made a racist comment,” which caused the scuffle.
“He just made a disrespectful comment,” Anderson later revealed. “Basically was trying to call me Jackie Robinson, like, ‘What’s up Jackie?’ I don’t play like that. I don’t really play at all. I wasn’t really gonna bother nobody today. But he made the comment, and it was disrespectful. I don’t think it was called for.”
The third baseman later confirmed that while he had said that to Anderson, he was “just joking” around. “All right, so first inning, I called him ‘Jackie,'” Donaldson said at the time. “[In] 2019, he came out with an interview [and] said that he’s the new Jackie Robinson of baseball. He’s gonna bring back fun to the game. [In] 2019 when I played for [the Atlanta Braves], we actually joked about that on the game.”
He continued: “I don’t know what’s changed — and I’ve said it to him in year’s past. Not in any manner than just joking around for the fact that he called himself Jackie Robinson. If something has changed from that, my meaning of that — has not any term trying to be racist by any fact of the matter. It was just off of an interview of what he called himself.”
Donaldson was absent from the Yankees and White Sox double header the following night. Shortly before the suspension was announced, the New York team said that he had been put on the COVID-19 injury list. The Florida native will be required to skip one game and pay an undisclosed amount as the result of his actions. The Yankees and White Sox are not scheduled to play each other again this season.
Keep scrolling to learn more about the incident and Donaldson’s punishment: