Josh Donaldson says it was 'tough to hear' Yankees teammates criticize him for 'Jackie' remark

Josh Donaldson says it was ‘tough to hear’ Yankees teammates criticize him for ‘Jackie’ remark

New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson, who was recently suspended by Major League Baseball following a “disrespectful” comment he made toward Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson, told the Associated Press on Wednesday that he was disappointed his teammates didn’t back him up .

“I think that was tough to hear, for sure,” Donaldson told reporter Ronald Blum, “just for the simple fact that I pride myself on being a good teammate, and everywhere I’ve gone, every organization that I’ve been a part of, minus Oakland, has offered me extensions, has wanted me to stay back.”

Donaldson was suspended for a game and fined an undisclosed amount after calling Anderson “Jackie,” after Jackie Robinson, the trailblazer who integrated MLB in 1947. Donaldson first claimed the quip was an inside joke between him and Anderson that dated back to an Anderson quote from 2019. Anderson refuted that claim, however, by saying that he had told Donaldson in the past to not speak to him if that’s how he intended to address him.

The quote in question stems from a 2019 Sports Illustrated profile. Here it is, in whole:

“I kind of feel like today’s Jackie Robinson,” he says. “That’s huge to say. But it’s cool, man, because he changed the game, and I feel like I’m getting to a point to where I need to change the game.”

It’s crucial to note the greater context around Anderson’s quote, as the piece is framed around the isolation he feels as a Black man playing in a sport that is favorably played, managed, and patrolled by white men. Indeed, a 2017 study by ESPN found that nearly 60 percent of MLB players are white. Additionally, only two current managers are Black (Dusty Baker and Dave Roberts) and none of the current general managers or owners are Black.

Donaldson was confronted by White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal in his first at-bat following his remark to Anderson, which inspired a benches-clearing incident. No players were ejected and no one else was punished for their roles.

Several of Donaldson’s current and former teammates criticized his words after the game, including Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge, who said it wasn’t “the right thing to do here.” Yankees manager Aaron Boone also said the “Jackie” comment was “somewhere he shouldn’t be going.” Liam Hendriks, the White Sox closer who overlapped with Donaldson in Toronto, offered more pointed commentary.

“That’s completely inappropriate, and then after hearing what was said after the game, usually you have inside jokes with the people you get along with, not people that don’t get along at all,” Hendriks told reporters of Donaldson’s explanation. “So that statement right there was complete bullshit. But, then again, my feelings toward the individual in question are pretty well documented that we don’t get along. I’ve now spoken to, I think it’s four separate clubhouses that he’s been into and, as a whole, none of ’em got along.”

Donaldson, who has appealed his suspension, has not appeared in a game since May 22. He spent time on the COVID-19-related injured list before being placed on the standard injured list because of shoulder inflammation.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.