Tim Anderson served his one-game suspension last week for reportedly using profane language during a benches-clearing incident between the Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals, and the shortstop doesn't regret accepting the ban without appeal.
"I would rather just flush it and keep going," Anderson told Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times. "Because it would have dragged on for another week or two if I appealed. I just didn't want to go through that process."
Anderson, 25, emphatically flipped his bat toward his own dugout after hitting a two-run home run against Brad Keller in the fourth inning. The Royals right-hander plunked Anderson in his next at-bat, which led to the benches being cleared. Both Keller and Anderson were ejected from the game, with the pitcher getting hit with a five-game suspension for his role.
The league announced Anderson's suspension was due to language he used but did not confirm what was said. However, reports suggested the umpiring crew ejected Anderson after he called Keller, who is white, a "weak-ass f------ n----."
"People don't know what we go through as black men and they don't know exactly where we come from being a black man, and the culture of being a black man," Anderson said. "What I said was one of those things that happens when black men get mad. When we're angry, that's like the go-to word. That lets them know that this guy is serious. It's a culture thing. I didn't mean anything by it, but that's just in my language."
Fellow athletes commented on Anderson's suspension, including Toronto Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman and former second baseman Micah Johnson.
"You can't suspend someone for language. That's ridiculous," Stroman tweeted. "Also, what (Anderson) said is also normal slang trash talk in our culture."
Johnson, who spent parts of three seasons with the White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Atlanta Braves, started his tweet with: "Dear white people offended by Tim Anderson using the N-Word."
"It's not your job to police how black people use it. ... You won't ever have to endure a barrage of N-words used to threaten you as you try to vote. And you won't ever have 100 camera angles catching your response as someone pegs you with 90-plus-mph rocks. ...
Suspending one of your few black players for language after getting hit ... will leave you with white benches."
League diversity has been on the decline in recent years. African-Americans accounted for 8.4 percent of major-leaguers in 2018, which is down from 18 percent in 1991, according to The Associated Press. It's a trend that Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. recently weighed in on.
"It's not a black problem or a white problem, but it's a baseball problem," Griffey said while crediting the NFL and NBA for doing a better job of appealing to a broader audience.
Anderson is off to a hot start in 2019, as he's hitting .418/.443/.642 with four home runs and nine stolen bases through 17 games. Prior to the 2017 season, he signed a six-year, $25-million extension with the White Sox after only 99 games played at the big-league level.