Major League Baseball halted Josh Donaldson by one game after it was revealed that the Yankees’ third baseman had made a “disrespectful” comment to Tim Anderson, the Chicago White Sox shortstop.
On Saturday, white Donaldson was challenged by various members of the White Sox after he repeatedly referred to Anderson, who is black as “Jackie.” He said the comments were intended as an internal joke between the players and referred to a magazine article in which Anderson said he felt like “today’s Jackie Robinson”.
White Sox players and coaching staff have denied the allegations. Manager Tony La Rusa said Donaldson had made a “racist” comment, Anderson said he agreed with the description and several players described Donaldson’s relationship with the team as an opponent.
Ahead of Sunday’s two-match win over the White Sox, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said he did not think Donaldson should comment.
“I do not believe there was any malicious intent in this regard,” Bunn told reporters. “But you know, it’s just, in my opinion, he shouldn’t have gone somewhere.”
In a statement Monday about the suspension, which includes an unspecified fine, Michael Hill, MLB’s senior vice president for field operations, said the league had completed its investigation and found that the facts of the case were not in question.
“MLB has completed the process of talking to those involved in this incident,” the statement said. “There is no dispute about what was said on the field. Regardless of Mr. Donaldson’s intent, the comment he made to Mr. Anderson was disrespectful and bad judgment, especially when viewed in the context of their previous relationship.
“In addition, Mr. Donaldson’s remark was a contributing factor to the incident between the cleaning chairs between the teams and calls for discipline.”
However, this discipline will have to wait. Donaldson appealed a decision that would have allowed him to play while the appeal was pending, but before the announcement of the suspension he hit the Covid-19 injured list.