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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Josh Donaldson apologizes to Jackie Robinson’s family

NEW YORK ( Associated Press) — Josh Donaldson has apologized to the wife and family of Jackie Robinson for mentioning the leading black baseball player that led to a clash with Chicago White Sox star Tim Anderson.

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

“First and foremost, I have great respect for what Tim Anderson brings to the game of baseball,” Donaldson said in a statement released Thursday through his agency MVP Sports. “I said over the weekend that I apologized for offending Tim and that we had misunderstandings based on several exchanges over the years. My view of that exchange hasn’t changed and I didn’t mean to disrespect the past at all. In the U.S., it was never an issue and now that it is, we have a mutual understanding.

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“I would like to apologize to Mrs. Rachel Robinson and the Jackie Robinson family for any distress this incident has caused. Jackie was a true American hero and I hold his name in the highest regard.”

Donaldson said after Saturday’s game that he called Anderson “Jackie” twice. Robinson broke the MLB barrier in 1947. The benches and bullpen became empty as the tension increased.

Anderson has said that Donaldson was “trying to provoke me” with the remarks. White Sox manager Tony La Russa called Donaldson’s remarks “racist” last weekend, saying “this is as strong as it gets.” Anderson agreed with La Russa: “Same, along the same lines, yes.”

Anderson, an All-Star and 2019 AL batting champion who is among the leading black voices in baseball, told Sports Illustrated in 2019: “I feel like the Jackie Robinson of today … because he changed the game , and I feel like I’m getting to the point where I need to change the game.”

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Donaldson, the 2015 AL MVP, said that at the start of Saturday’s game, “I called him Jackie.” The white bowler also said that he “joked” using the same reference in the past with Anderson and referred to the Sports Illustrated interview.

Anderson said in 2019, after a brief conversation in which Donaldson called him “Jackie”, he told Donaldson: “We don’t need to talk to you again. I won’t talk to you, don’t talk to me if you tell me Going to refer to it as such.”

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

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