Aaron Judge condemns Josh Donaldson’s ‘Jackie’ comment to Tim Anderson

Aaron Judge
New York Yankees designated hitter Aaron Judge (99) watches from the dugout after hitting a solo home run in the eighth inning to tie the game against the Chicago White Sox at Yankee Stadium.
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The fallout continued from Josh Donaldson’s “Jackie” comment to Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson. Donaldson was fined and suspended on Monday and New York Yankees teammate Aaron Judge criticized Donaldson for making the comment. 

“You know, it’s a tough one. Joke or not, I just don’t think it’s the right thing to do there, especially given the history,” Judge told reporters. “The series in Chicago — kind of a little bit of beef between Anderson and JD. Anderson’s one of the best shortstops in the game and he’s a big part of MLB, what’s going on here and how we can grow the game. JD for that one-game suspension — yeah, I don’t know.”

Donaldson’s comments occurred in Saturday’s game between the Yankees and White Sox, which eventually led to a bench-clearing brawl. Anderson decried the remark as racist after the game.

Donaldson has tried to chalk the incident up as his attempt to defuse tensions in the game and said he was referencing a 2019 Sports Illustrated story in which Anderson said “I kind of feel like today’s Jackie Robinson.” 

Aaron Judge said that Donaldson did address the team about what happened. “JD, you know, he made a mistake, owned up to it and now got to move on,” The Yankees slugger said. 

Major League Baseball handed down a one-game suspension and a fine of an undisclosed amount on Monday night. Donaldson is appealing the decision. 

Yankees manager Aaron Boone also said that he did not agree with the decision to suspend the Bomber third baseman. However, Judge didn’t think the episode would be easily forgotten. 

“He’s a pro,’’ Judge said. “He talked to all of us and filled us in on what he was referring to. But still, I don’t think it was the right move at all.” 

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The controversy extended into the sports radio world on Monday as well, when WFAN canceled an interview with Yankees great Paul O’Neil for refusing to discuss the incident between Donaldson and Anderson. The former Bombers’ first baseman was scheduled to go on Tierney and Tiki to promote his new book. 

The Yankees lost the series to the White Sox with a loss on Monday night in the Bronx. The Yankees and White Sox will not meet again this season.