Josh Donaldson released a statement via MLB.com about his controversial interaction with Tim Anderson on Saturday, and in his statement, issued an apology to Jackie Robinson’s family and reiterated that his view of his exchanges with Anderson haven’t changed.
Donaldson, who was issued a fine and a one-game suspension for saying “Hey Jackie” to Anderson, a reference to a 2019 interview where the White Sox shortstop said he could see himself as the next Jackie Robinson in terms of bringing change to the game, said he had been making that jab to Anderson for years, and it was meant to be playful. Anderson recently said that he told Donaldson to not make that comment back in 2019, when Donaldson first did it.
Donaldson still says it was never an issue in his statement, but says the two now have a “mutual understanding.”
“First and foremost, I have the utmost respect for what Tim Anderson brings to the game of baseball,” Donaldson’s statement read. “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.”
Donaldson has yet to be activated off the COVID IL, and has played in just one game since the benches clearing incident with Anderson and the White Sox.
Follow Ryan Chichester on Twitter: @ryanchichester1