Tim Anderson has accused Josh Donaldson of making a racist comment on Saturday that nearly sparked a fight to clear the benches, but the Yankees third baseman said he believes the White Sox shortstop took his words the wrong way.
After the Yankees’ 7-5 win at Stadium, Anderson said Donaldson used the line “What’s up, Jackie?” several times during the game. Donaldson’s response was that he jokingly called Anderson “Jackie” (as in Jackie Robinson) in the past because the infielder called himself “today’s Jackie Robinson” in 2019.
“He just made a disrespectful comment. He was trying to call me Jackie Robinson, ‘What’s up Jackie?’ “, said Anderson, who is black. “I don’t play like that. … It happened the first time he went up, and I dropped that time, and it happened again It’s just unwarranted.
Later, Anderson said, “I’ll never sleep like this.”
Donaldson didn’t deny the remark, referencing a 2019 Sports Illustrated story in which Anderson compared himself to the legendary Jackie Robinson.
“I called him Jackie. He came out with an interview that says he’s the new Jackie Robinson… We actually joked about it,” Donaldson said. “I told him years ago, not in any way [other] than just joking.
On Saturday, the two players exchanged words in the third inning and again in the fifth, with Anderson running for home plate after seeing Donaldson, before his at bat, talking for an extended period with White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal. Several teammates had to hold Anderson back.
“What triggered it was the comment he made,” Grandal said. “This game went through a period where a lot of these comments were made and I think we’re way past that. It’s just unacceptable. I just thought it was a low blow, and I want to make sure to have my team’s back. There’s no way you’re allowed to say something like that.
Both benches were warned, but it was only back and forth. A week ago, the two men got into it at third base when Donaldson appeared to push Anderson off the sack, causing Anderson to push him away and the two exchanged words. The coaches stepped between the two before anything more happened.
“Even smoke,” is how Anderson described it.
The two crossed paths again on Saturday in the seventh after Donaldson walked and was obliterated to second on a double play ball. Anderson turned around and appeared to say something to Donaldson, who appeared to laugh at him- even running towards the canoe.
As for more fireworks between the two players, Anderson wasn’t sure how things would play out.
“I can’t really call him, because I don’t know my energy when I see him, I don’t know his energy,” Anderson said. “But we’ll see.”