Josh Donaldson is ready to put the “Jackie” controversy behind him after saying he has come to a “mutual understanding” with Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson.
Donaldson was suspended for the incident that occurred last Saturday when he called Anderson “Jackie,” referring to Jackie Robinson who broke baseball’s color barrier in 1947, during a meeting between the New York Yankees and White Sox. It eventually led to a bench-clearing brawl when White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal confronted Donaldson later in the game.
“First and foremost, I have the utmost respect for what Tim Anderson brings to the game of baseball,” Donaldson said in a statement to MLB.com on Thursday. “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,”
It’s unclear if the two had any communication since the incident, though it is unlikely. Anderson spoke to reporters on Tuesday in Chicago and had said that he had no interest in any sort of “friendship or relationship” with the Yankees’ third baseman.
In the statement issued, Donaldson also apologized to the Jackie Robinson family.
“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,” he said.
Donaldson is currently on the Yankees COVID injured list, but is appealing his suspension from Major League Baseball, which was handed down on Monday night. He was given a one-game ban and a fine for an undisclosed amount.