In his statement, Donaldson, who twice called Anderson “Jackie” during the game, apologized to the family of Jackie Robinson and restated his view of his exchange with Anderson as a misunderstanding.
“First and foremost, I have the utmost respect for what Tim Anderson brings to the game of baseball,” Donaldson wrote. “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. 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.
“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 acknowledged that he twice referred to Anderson as “Jackie” during the game, claiming that he was referring to a 2019 Sports Illustrated interview in which Anderson -- who is Black -- said that he feels like “today’s Jackie Robinson.”
On Monday, Michael Hill, MLB’s senior vice president for on-field operations, said that Donaldson’s remark was “disrespectful and in poor judgment” and “was a contributing factor in a bench-clearing incident between the teams.”
Donaldson, who is currently on the COVID-19 injured list, is appealing his suspension.