Donaldson issues statement about suspension

May 26th, 2022

Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson issued a statement Thursday regarding the incident from Saturday’s game involving White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson that resulted in Donaldson receiving a one-game suspension and an undisclosed fine from Major League Baseball.

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.