Tim Anderson calls Josh Donaldson's 'Jackie' comment racist after benches clear in White Sox-Yankees game

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The war of words between Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson and New York Yankees designated hitter Josh Donaldson heated up Saturday afternoon, as the two again got into it, leading to both benches clearing and lots of pushing and shoving.

In the fifth inning of New York's 7-5 victory, Anderson tried to run to home plate after seeing Donaldson arguing with White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal before his at-bat. Anderson had to be held back by teammates.

“Believe me, you don’t want me to tell you guys what I told him,” Grandal said after the game.

When the two teams met in Chicago on May 13, Donaldson pushed Anderson off third base while applying a tag, and Anderson shoved Donaldson, leading to an exchange of words and the benches clearing.

After Saturday's game, Anderson said that Donaldson called him "Jackie," in reference to Jackie Robinson, who broke the color barrier in 1947 and whose jersey is retired by Major League Baseball.

Teammates restrain Tim Anderson after the dugouts emptied in the fifth inning.
Teammates restrain Tim Anderson after the dugouts emptied in the fifth inning.

Anderson said in a 2019 interview with Sports Illustrated, "I kind of feel like today’s Jackie Robinson. That’s huge to say. But it’s cool, man, because he changed the game, and I feel like I’m getting to a point to where I need to change the game."

Anderson said Saturday that Donaldson's comment was disrespectful and racist, following manager Tony La Russa's assessment, and that Donaldson said it earlier in the game.

“I spared him that time, and then it happened again. I don't play like that," Anderson said. "I don't think it was called for. Nobody has time to be playing like that."

Donaldson admitted that he called Anderson "Jackie," but said there was no racist intent.

"I called him Jackie," Donaldson said. "He came out with an interview that says he’s the new Jackie Robinson. We’ve actually joked about that. I’ve said it to him in years past, not in any manner than just joking around. My meaning of that is not any term trying to be racist by any fact of the matter. That’s not what I was trying to do by any manner and that’s what happened.”

Donaldson apologized and said he is open to meeting with Anderson and said he has talked to his Yankees teammates about it.

Major League Baseball said they will be investigating and talking to the players involved.

Follow Scooby Axson on Twitter @ScoobAxson.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tim Anderson calls Josh Donaldson's 'Jackie' comment racist

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