NEW YORK (AP) – Josh Donaldson has apologized to the spouse and household of Jackie Robinson for referencing the pioneering Black baseball participant in remarks that led to a confrontation with Chicago White Sox star Tim Anderson.
The New York Yankees third baseman was suspended for one recreation and fined on Monday by Major League Baseball. The league stated Donaldson’s touch upon Saturday was “disrespectful and in poor judgment.” Donaldson has appealed the self-discipline.
“First and foremost, I have the utmost respect for what Tim Anderson brings to the game of baseball,” Donaldson stated in an announcement Thursday issued by way of his company, MVP Sports. “I acknowledged over the weekend that I apologized for offending Tim and that it was a misunderstanding based mostly on a number of exchanges between us through the years. My view of that change hasn’t modified and I completely meant no disrespect. In the previous, it had by no means been a problem and now that it’s, we have now 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 stated after Saturday’s recreation that he twice referred to as Anderson by “Jackie.” Robinson broke MLB’s barrier in 1947. Benches and bullpens emptied as tensions escalated.
Anderson has stated Donaldson was “trying to provoke me” with the remark. White Sox supervisor Tony La Russa referred to as Donaldson’s remark final weekend “racist,” including, “That’s as strong as it gets.” Anderson agreed with La Russa: “Same, along that same line, yeah.”
Anderson, an All-Star and the 2019 AL batting champion who’s among the many main Black voices in baseball, informed Sports Illustrated in 2019: “I kind of feel like today’s Jackie Robinson … because he changed the game, and I feel like I’m getting to a point to where I need to change the game.”
Donaldson, the 2015 AL MVP, stated that early in Saturday’s recreation, “I called him Jackie.” The white ballplayer additionally stated he has “joked around” with Anderson previously utilizing the identical reference and talked about that Sports Illustrated interview.
Anderson stated after a short dialog in 2019 by which Donaldson referred to as him “Jackie,” he informed Donaldson: “We don’t have to talk again. I won’t speak to you, you don’t speak to me if that’s how you’re going to refer to me.”
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