Anderson, White Sox angered after Yankees' Donaldson called him 'Jackie'
Anderson said Donaldson referred to him as Jackie Robinson when the two crossed paths near second base in the first inning and again later in the game.
"He just made a disrespectful comment. Basically, he was trying to call me Jackie Robinson, like, 'What's up, Jackie?'" Anderson said postgame, per White Sox Talk. "I don't play like that. ... I don't think it was called for. It was unnecessary."
White Sox manager Tony La Russa called the comment "racist" but wouldn't comment further. Anderson concurred with his skipper's view.
Donaldson admitted to calling Anderson the name but said he thought it was an inside joke with his opponent. The 36-year-old cited Anderson's 2019 interview with Sports Illustrated in which Anderson claimed to feel like "today's Jackie Robinson," with regard to having fun and showing emotion during games, according to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com.
"(In) 2019, when I played for Atlanta, we actually joked about that (in) the game," Donaldson said, according to SNY. "And I've said it to him in years past, not in any manner (other) than just joking around (about) the fact that he called himself Jackie Robinson.
"So if something has changed from that, my meaning of that is not any term trying to be racist. ... Obviously, he deemed that it was disrespectful, and look, if he did I apologize. That's not what I was trying to do."
MLB plans to investigate the incident, a source told Newsday's Laura Albanese.
White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal later exchanged words with Donaldson prior to his fifth-inning at-bat. Benches cleared, and while no punches were thrown, Anderson had to be restrained by teammates.
"This game went through a period in time where a lot of those comments were made," Grandal said, according to Newsday's David Lennon. "And I think we're way past that. It's just unacceptable, so I wanted to make sure I got my teammate's back."
Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Sunday that Donaldson was forthcoming about his history with Anderson, but doesn't believe it was a good decision to make the comment.
"Josh has been very forthcoming with the history of it and the context of it. So I don't believe there was any malicious intent in that regard," Boone said, according to The Athletic's Lindsey Adler. "But you know, this is, just in my opinion, somewhere he should not be going."
This isn't the first time Anderson and the White Sox have taken issue with Donaldson. When the two teams met in Chicago, the pair exchanged words following Donaldson's hard tag on Anderson at third base.
The South Siders' feud with Donaldson dates back to his two years with the Minnesota Twins. Following an incident last season, White Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito referred to Donaldson as a "f------ pest."
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