The New York Yankees and DH Josh Donaldson are fighting off accusations of racism after a heated exchange during a matchup against the Chicago White Sox on Saturday.
As reported by OutKick’s Nick Geddes, Saturday’s matchup between the Yankees and White Sox escalated in tension when Donaldson and White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal got into a verbal spat.
The beef between teams continued when Chicago’s Tim Anderson went off on Donaldson after a verbal exchange.
It was revealed that Donaldson called Tim Anderson “Jackie,” referencing the black MLB legend, Jackie Robinson. Anderson is also black.
Anderson and White Sox manager Tony La Russa called Donaldson’s comment “racist,” but the context revealed a different intent.
Donaldson expounded on his comment after the game.
“I called him Jackie. He came out with an interview that says he’s the new Jackie Robinson… We’ve actually joked about that. I’ve said it to him in years past, not in any manner than just joking around,” Donaldson said.
He added, “My meaning of that is not any term trying to be racist by any fact of the matter. That’s not what I was trying to do by any manner and that’s what happened.”
The Yankees player was referring to a 2019 Sports Illustrated article that includes a quote by Tim Anderson dubbing himself “today’s Jackie Robinson.”
Yankees manager Aaron Boone didn’t agree with Donaldson’s decision but noted that based on the context of the quote, the name-calling appeared benign.
He added that as a “white guy,” he may also be overlooking aggression that could spark from referencing Jackie Robinson.
“I understand that Josh has been very forthcoming with the history of it, the context of it. I don’t believe there was any malicious intent with that regard. This is just somewhere in my opinion he should not be going,” Boone responded on Sunday.
“But again, I sit here, as a white guy, that did change the context for me, but I also understand how it can be offensive or upsetting.”
New York went on to win, 7-5. Both teams face off in the doubleheader on Sunday.
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela