Donaldson Issues Statement After Suspension

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Josh Donaldson New York Yankees
Giancarlo Stanton #27 holds back Josh Donaldson #28 of the New York Yankees after Donaldson's benches-clearing dispute with Yasmani Grandal #24 of the Chicago White Sox during the fifth inning at Yankee Stadium on May 21, 2022 in the Bronx borough of New York City.

New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson received a one-game suspension for calling Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson “Jackie” in a game Saturday afternoon.

Three days after being disciplined by Major League Baseball, Donaldson released a statement, apologizing to the Jackie Robinson family and reiterating that he didn’t mean to disrespect Anderson.

“First and foremost, I have the utmost respect for what Tim Anderson brings to the game of baseball. I stated over the weekend that I apologized for offending Tim and that it was a misunderstanding based on multiple exchanges between us over the years," Donaldson in the statement.

"My view of that exchange hasn’t changed and I absolutely meant no disrespect. In the past, it had never been an issue and now that it is, we have a mutual understanding," he added. 

“I would also like to apologize to Mrs. Rachel Robinson and the Jackie Robinson family for any distress this incident may have caused. Jackie was a true American hero and I hold his name in the highest regard.”

Donaldson first called Anderson “Jackie” in 2019 after the shortstop referred to himself as “today’s Jackie Robinson” for the way he plays the game. Anderson told reporters that he doesn’t care about Donaldson’s suspension.

"He did say that, and I told him we never have to talk again," Anderson said. "I don't speak to you, you don't speak to me, if that's how you want to refer to me. I know, he knew exactly what he was doing because I already told him."

Donaldson has appealed the one-game suspension. The third baseman has been away from the Yankees since Monday, reportedly due to a non-COVID-19 illness.

Donaldson’s comment to Anderson was condemned by members of the White Sox and others around MLB. Chicago pitching coach Ethan Katz criticized MLB for only issuing a one-game suspension. 

There have been a few instances of Donaldson getting into verbal confrontations with opposing players. Donaldson said he met White Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito in the parking lot after talking trash to the Chicago dugout during a game. Prior to becoming teammates with Yankees ace Gerrit Cole, Donaldson called out the pitcher for using foreign substances on the mound.

Josh Donaldson New York Yankees

Photo: Sarah Stier/Getty Images

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