Josh Donaldson apologizes to Jackie Robinson’s family

May 25, 2022, 9:28 PM | Updated: May 26, 2022, 2:49 pm
New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson (28) makes a swinging strike on a pitch during the th...

New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson (28) makes a swinging strike on a pitch during the third inning of a baseball game against Chicago White Sox, Saturday May 21, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

(AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

NEW YORK (AP) — Josh Donaldson has apologized to the wife and family of Jackie Robinson for referencing the pioneering Black baseball player in remarks that led to a confrontation with Chicago White Sox star Tim Anderson.

The New York Yankees third baseman was suspended for one game and fined on Monday by Major League Baseball. The league said Donaldson’s comment on Saturday was “disrespectful and in poor judgment.” Donaldson has appealed the discipline.

“First and foremost, I have the utmost respect for what Tim Anderson brings to the game of baseball,” Donaldson said in a statement Thursday issued through his agency, MVP Sports. “I stated over the weekend that I apologized for offending Tim and that it was a misunderstanding based on multiple exchanges between us over the years. My view of that exchange hasn’t changed and I absolutely meant no disrespect. In the past, it had never been an issue and now that it is, we have 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.”

Anderson did not speak with reporters before Thursday’s game against Boston. Scott Miranda, a spokesman for the Jackie Robinson Foundation, said the family had no comment.

Donaldson said after Saturday’s game that he twice called Anderson by “Jackie.” Robinson broke MLB’s barrier in 1947. Benches and bullpens emptied as tensions escalated.

Anderson has said Donaldson was “trying to provoke me” with the comment. White Sox manager Tony La Russa called Donaldson’s comment last weekend “racist,” adding, “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 is among the leading Black voices in baseball, told 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, said that early in Saturday’s game, “I called him Jackie.” The white ballplayer also said he has “joked around” with Anderson in the past using the same reference and mentioned that Sports Illustrated interview.

Anderson said after a brief conversation in 2019 in which Donaldson called him “Jackie,” he told 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.”

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE -LeBron James speaks at the opening ceremony for the I Promise School in Akron, Ohio, Monday, ...
Associated Press

LeBron’s off-court legacy complements his basketball success

Mya Smiley is a student at the University of Akron thanks to an assist from LeBron James, and she is determined upon graduation to become a social worker that helps foster kids. Her education and career path would not have been possible, the sophomore says, were it not for a scholarship and counseling that she […]
24 hours ago
Saint Mary's head coach Randy Bennett, center, is congratulated by his players after notching his 5...
Associated Press

Bennett earns 500th win as No. 18 Saint Mary’s beats USF

MORAGA, Calif. (AP) — Randy Bennett earned his 500th win as Saint Mary’s coach when the 18th-ranked Gaels beat San Francisco 68-59 on Thursday night for their 11th straight victory. Alex Ducas had 18 points and Aidan Mahaney scored 13 of his 17 in the second half to lead the Gaels (20-4, 9-0 West Coast […]
24 hours ago
Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo shoots between Los Angeles Clippers' Terance Mann and Reggie...
Associated Press

Antetokounmpo scores 54 points, Bucks beat Clippers 106-105

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 20 of his 54 points in the fourth quarter and the Milwaukee Bucks overcame a 21-point deficit to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 106-105 on Thursday night for their sixth consecutive victory. Antetokounmpo also had 18 rebounds. The Greek star reached the 50-point mark for the third time in […]
24 hours ago
Duke coach Kara Lawson directs the team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game ag...
Associated Press

Duke women’s coach Lawson says men’s ball used vs. FSU

Duke coach Kara Lawson said her team played with a men’s basketball for the first half of a loss to Florida State last Sunday. The 16th-ranked Blue Devils lost to the Seminoles 70-57 in Tallahassee, Florida — the team’s second Atlantic Coast Conference loss of the season. After her team beat Pittsburgh 53-44 on Thursday, […]
24 hours ago
Golden State Warriors center James Wiseman, front, pulls in a rebound in front of Denver Nuggets fo...
Associated Press

Murray, Jokic lead charge as Nuggets beat Warriors 134-117

DENVER (AP) — Jamal Murray just nodded when asked if this might be the most confident he’s ever been. Nothing else really needed to be said. Murray had 33 points and Nikola Jokic recorded his 17th triple-double of the season, leading the Denver Nuggets to a 134-117 win over the short-handed Golden State Warriors on […]
24 hours ago
Dallas Mavericks guard Spencer Dinwiddie (26) battles New Orleans Pelicans forward Larry Nance Jr. ...
Associated Press

Mavs hang on after Doncic hurt, hand Pels 10th straight loss

DALLAS (AP) — The Dallas Mavericks barely held on after leading by 27 points when Luka Doncic exited the game with a right heel injury on a hard fall. The New Orleans Pelicans thought their one chance to finish the rally and end a long losing streak was taken away by the officials, who acknowledged […]
24 hours ago
Josh Donaldson apologizes to Jackie Robinson’s family