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Josh Donaldson Suspended for ‘Jackie’ Comments

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Major League Baseball suspended Josh Donaldson for one game after determining the Yankees third baseman had made “disrespectful” comments to Tim Anderson, a shortstop for the Chicago White Sox.

On Saturday, Donaldson, who’s white, was confronted by various members of the White Sox after he repeatedly referred to Anderson, who’s Black, as “Jackie.” He said the comments were meant to be an inside joke between the players and were referencing a magazine article during which Anderson said he felt like “today’s Jackie Robinson.”

Chicago’s players and training staff rejected that explanation. Manager Tony La Russa said Donaldson had made a “racist” comment, Anderson said he agreed with the characterization and multiple players characterised Donaldson’s relationship with their team as adversarial.

The White Sox are off on Monday before a three-game series with Boston, but Ethan Katz, the team’s pitching coach, reacted to the suspension on Twitter, questioning whether it was long enough.

Even Yankees Manager Aaron Boone said before Sunday’s doubleheader, which Chicago swept, that he didn’t think Donaldson must have made the comment.

“I don’t consider there was any malicious intent in that regard,” Boone told reporters. “But , that is, just for my part, somewhere he mustn’t be going.”

In Monday’s statement in regards to the suspension, which incorporates an undisclosed positive, Michael Hill, M.L.B.’s senior vice chairman for on-field operations, said the league had accomplished an investigation and located that the facts of the case weren’t in query.

“MLB has accomplished the strategy of chatting with the individuals involved on this incident,” the statement said. “There isn’t a dispute over what was said on the sphere. No matter Mr. Donaldson’s intent, the comment he directed toward Mr. Anderson was disrespectful and in poor judgment, particularly when viewed within the context of their prior interactions.

“As well as, Mr. Donaldson’s remark was a contributing consider a bench-clearing incident between the teams, and warrants discipline.”

That discipline, nonetheless, could have to attend. Donaldson appealed the choice, which might have allowed him to play while the appeal was pending, but just before the suspension was announced the Yankees placed him on the Covid-19 injured list.

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