Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson said Wednesday that he was hurt by the lack of support from his teammates after his alleged “racist” comment towards White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson on May 21.
Donaldson was suspended for one game by MLB after calling Anderson “Jackie,” in reference to a 2019 Sports Illustrated interview in which Anderson referred to himself as today’s Jackie Robinson. White Sox manager Tony La Russa said the comment was “racist,” which Anderson agreed with.
Both Yankees manager Aaron Boone and outfielder Aaron Judge agreed that Donaldson shouldn’t have made the comment.
“I think that was tough to hear, for sure, just for the simple fact that I pride myself on being a good teammate, and everywhere I’ve went, every organization that I’ve been a part of, minus Oakland, has offered me extensions, has wanted me to stay back,” Donaldson said during batting practice Wednesday, via ESPN.
“They’ve showed that they wanted me a part of their team. Obviously it didn’t work out that way. And that’s just the business end of it. And also everywhere I went, I’ve won. I think part of winning is having good team chemistry, and I’ve taken pride everywhere I’ve went I’ve always tried to help people try to get better.”
Donaldson, 36, went on to say that he was taken back by the criticism of White Sox closer Liam Hendriks, a former teammate of Donaldson in Toronto. The two shared the same uniform together in 2015, the same year where Donaldson won the American League MVP Award.
Hendriks said after the incident that he is “not a fan” of Donaldson. Donaldson claims that Hendriks never said anything when they met in a parking lot outside the ballpark.
“I know Liam has come out a couple times and said some stuff about me,” Donaldson said. “It’s weird because I hear one thing and then when I see him it’s different. So it’s definitely been confusing for that. I’m not saying that every one of my teammates have always been best friends with.”
Donaldson issued an apology to the Robinson family this past week and doubled down on that Wednesday.
“I think everybody wanted to have a say. But they don’t know my heart,” Donaldson said. “I do feel bad that the Robinson family — I never wanted them to feel their name should ever be regarded in a bad light. That was why I issued the apology.”