NEW YORK -- Major League Baseball suspended Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson for one game Monday after he was accused of making a racist remark toward Chicago White Sox infielder Tim Anderson.
Donaldson is appealing the suspension, CBS2's Otis Livingston reported.
after Donaldson called Anderson "Jackie," a reference to Jackie Robinson, who broke MLB's color barrier.
As CBS2's Christina Fan reported, Donaldson's comment has drawn controversy on and off the field.
"I just think he took it and misinterpreted it to make it bigger than what it was," one person said.
"It's not a joke. It's not funny. It's not funny to make that kind of joke," another person said.
Donaldson claimed he was making a lighthearted jab, explaining the comment was in reference to a 2019 Sports Illustrated interview in which Anderson described himself as feeling like today's Jackie Robinson - isolated in a predominantly white sport.
"He made the comment and it was disrespectful. I don't think it was called for," Anderson said.
"2019 I played for Atlanta, we actually joked about that ... I don't know what changed from, and I've said it to him in years past," Donaldson said.
Much of Robinson's legacy was defined by fighting racism that kept Black players out of MLB.
ESPN columnist William C. Rhoden said it's no laughing matter to those who know the history of this country.
"You have to take the temperature not just of that game. But, did you know that 10 innocent Black people got murdered in Buffalo? Did you think about that? Maybe this is not the time to joke about Jackie Robinson, who took all kinds of swings and arrows and had to turn the other cheek," Rhoden said.
Anderson's teammates also laid into Donaldson's comment, saying inside jokes aren't traded between known nemeses.
"That's not how it went down in this clubhouse and I don't understand how, if he ever thought about it like that, it's just straight delusional," White Sox pitcher Liam Hendricks said.
The league has suspended players in the past for using racial or homophobic slurs.
for more features.