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Yankees' Josh Donaldson issues apology over "Jackie" comment toward White Sox's Tim Anderson

Protest held over controversial comments by Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson
Protest held over controversial comments by Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson 00:38

NEW YORK -- Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson issued a statement Thursday about his alleged racist remark toward Chicago White Sox infielder Tim Anderson and his subsequent suspension. 

During Saturday's game in the Bronx, Donaldson called Anderson "Jackie," in reference to Jackie Robinson. His comment drew criticism on and off the field, and Major League Baseball suspended him for one game. 

Donaldson, who is currently on the COVID list, appealed the suspension, claiming he was making a lighthearted jab. He said the remark 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. 

"First and foremost, I have the utmost respect for what Tim Anderson brings to the game of baseball," Donaldson wrote in Thursday's statement. "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."

After Saturday's game, Anderson said the comment was "disrespectful" and uncalled for. 

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