Tim Anderson had told Josh Donaldson in 2019 to stop calling him 'Jackie': 'He knew exactly what he was doing'


(670 The Score) White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson has refuted Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson’s claim that directing a “Jackie” Robinson comment at Anderson on Saturday could’ve in any way been rooted in a long-running joke.

Donaldson first directed the “Jackie” comment toward Anderson in 2019, Anderson said Tuesday. Anderson also explained that he quickly told Donaldson not to use the term and that they shouldn’t speak again if that was going to be Donaldson’s approach to conversation.

In a Sports Illustrated article in 2019, Anderson referred to himself as a modern-day Jackie Robinson in some ways. Donaldson has explained that he made the comment Saturday as a joke between the two. Donaldson played for the Braves in 2019. He and Anderson didn’t have any incidents based around the term in 2020 and 2021 as Donaldson played for the AL Central rival Twins.

Neither MLB nor the White Sox have bought Donaldson’s claim that the term was used in a joking manner. MLB handed Donaldson a one-game suspension and a fine for the remark.

“I told him, we never have to talk again,” Anderson said of his encounter with Donaldson in 2019. “I won’t speak to you, you won’t speak to me, if that’s how you’re going to refer to me. So I know he knew exactly what he was doing. Because I already told him. He go to Minnesota for two years and don’t say nothing to me because he knows I already addressed it.

“He felt the need to say it again. He’s trying to provoke me, and he knew what he was doing.”

Anderson didn’t share much of an opinion on Donaldson receiving a one-game suspension, simply saying he hoped Donaldson would learn a lesson from the incident.

Anderson also expressed appreciation for the support he has received from the White Sox. Catcher Yasmani Grandal stood up to Donaldson during the game, manager Tony La Russa called Donaldson’s comment “racist” and multiple other teammates have publicly backed Anderson in the days since. White Sox reliever Joe Kelly went as far as to call Donaldson “a douche.”

“It’s been nothing but love from my teammates, from the coaching staff, from the organization,” Anderson said.

“I feel the support, I feel the love and I appreciate them for sure.”

Anderson also took great joy in hitting a three-run homer in Chicago’s 5-0 win at New York on Sunday evening in the nightcap of a doubleheader after Yankees fans had booed him.

“That was cool, that was fun,” Anderson said. “It didn’t do nothing but motivate me a little bit more. We seen what happened. But you know, that’s cool. I’ll take whatever heat comes with it. That’s cool.

“It was pretty dope for me to shut them up. I think you guys saw the reaction and what I said. It was a great moment for sure.”

Neither Donaldson nor anyone from the Yankees has reached out to Anderson in recent days, Anderson said. Anderson is also ready to move forward.

“I can definitely move on,” Anderson said. “But I’m not looking for no friendship or no relationship from their behalf.”

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