MLB Suspends Yankees’ Josh Donaldson Amid Racism Allegation
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Topline

Major League Baseball on Monday handed down a one-game suspension and undisclosed fine to Josh Donaldson, a New York Yankees third baseman who referred to Black competitor Tim Anderson over the weekend as “Jackie,” a reference to Jackie Robinson that Anderson viewed as racist—but Donaldson is appealing the league’s punishment.

Key Facts

MLB Senior Vice President Michael Hill called the remark “disrespectful and in poor judgment” regardless of its intent, in a statement issued Monday evening.

The league issued the one-game suspension ahead of a Monday night Yankees game against the Baltimore Orioles, but said the suspension won’t take effect immediately because Donaldson filed an appeal.

Donaldson was also reportedly added to the Yankees’ Covid-19 injured list on Monday.

Key Background

Donaldson referred to Anderson—a Chicago White Sox shortstop—as “Jackie” during a game on Saturday, both players acknowledged, as the two were reportedly engaged in heated dialogue. Anderson called the comment “disrespectful,” and later agreed with White Sox manager Tony La Russa that the reference to Jackie Robinson—the first Black major league baseball player—was racist. Donaldson admitted to making the comment in the first inning, but claimed it wasn’t a racially motivated slight. Instead, Donaldson insisted it was an inside joke dating back to a 2019 interview in which Anderson called himself “today’s Jackie Robinson.”

What To Watch For

Donaldson’s appeal. Under MLB rules, players can appeal suspensions to a neutral, external arbitrator. An arbitration panel determines if the MLB acted with “just cause,” and the league must prove its punishment was “reasonably commensurate with the offense.”

Chief Critic

After Donaldson called the remark an inside joke, Chicago White Sox pitcher Liam White responded: “Usually you have inside jokes with people you get along with, not people who don’t get along at all.”

Further Reading

MLB suspends Donaldson for 1 game for ‘Jackie’ comment (Associated Press)

Comment by New York Yankees’ Josh Donaldson to Chicago White Sox star Tim Anderson called ‘racist’ (ESPN)Report the details…

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