Josh Donaldson’s suspension upheld for ‘Jackie’ comments on Tim Anderson, report says


The Yankees’ third baseman Josh Donaldson will miss the opening game of the New York series against the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday when Major League Baseball upheld a one-game suspension imposed on him in May. According to the Associated Press. The MLB heard Donaldson’s appeal last Thursday, and he succeeded in a way, as the League reduced his fine from $ 10,000 to $ 5,000.

Donaldson, 36, sparked a bench-clearing incident against the Chicago White Sox when he called shortstop Tim Anderson “Jackie,” referring to Jackie Robinson, who joined the MLB in 1947. With Donaldson’s comments, which he initially claimed were an internal joke between the two, emanating from a Sports Illustrated article (Anderson later rebuked Donaldson’s claim that the two were in a friendly relationship). He said he had told Donaldson not to send him “Jackie”. “In the past.”

Here is Anderson’s excerpt from the 2019 Sports Illustrated piece, which Donaldson claims to have quoted:

“I feel like Jackie Robinson today,” he says. “It’s great to say. But it’s great, man, because it changed the game, and I feel like I’ve reached a point where I need to change the game.”

It is important to note the context surrounding Anderson’s words. The piece itself is about the loneliness he feels as a black man playing in a league dominated by white men. ESPN’s 2017 Gender and Race Report Card shows that about 60% of players are white. Furthermore, Dustbaker (Astros) and Dave Roberts (Dodgers) are only black managers, and no current general manager or franchise owner is black.

Donaldson later lost his temper after spending time on the COVID-19 list of injuries and then on the list of appropriate injuries with shoulder inflammation. He is in his first season with the Yankees, which was acquired during the off-season as part of a multiplayer trade with the Minnesota Twins.