New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson broke his silence and issued an apology to the family of Jackie Robinson as part of a statement released by the team Thursday morning.
“First and foremost, I have the utmost respect for what Tim Anderson brings to the game of baseball. 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,” the statement read. “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.”
Donaldson was suspended one game for what he claimed was an “inside joke” with White Sox infielder Tim Anderson. Donaldson on Saturday said he jokingly called Anderson “Jackie” in the past. Anderson said Donaldson was taunting, not joking, when he made the reference in a weekend series with the White Sox.
“In 2019, I know he did say that,” Anderson said on Tuesday. “I told him that we don’t ever have to talk again. And I won’t speak to you, you won’t speak to me if that’s how you’re gonna refer to me. And I know he knew exactly what he was doing.”
Donaldson, in his first season with the Yankees, is currently on the injured list due to a positive COVID-19 test.