Anderson said he warned Donaldson about ‘Jackie’ comment in 2019

Tim Anderson spoke out on Tuesday about his relationship with Josh Donaldson, and said he gave the New York Yankees third baseman a warning about calling him “Jackie” back in 2019.

Donaldson was suspended for one game after he admitted to calling Anderson “Jackie,” as in a reference to Jackie Robinson. Donaldson said he has called Anderson “Jackie” repeatedly since 2019, and insisted that he was just “joking around” based on a comparison Anderson made about himself.

That, however, isn’t how Anderson sees it.

“I told him we never have to talk again,” Anderson said Tuesday about their 2019 conversation regarding the nickname, via ESPN’s Jesse Rogers. “I won’t speak to you, you won’t speak to me, if that’s how you’re going to refer to me. I knew he knew exactly what he was doing.”

Benches cleared after ‘Jackie’ comment

Benches cleared during the fifth inning of Saturday’s game between the Yankees and White Sox, though it wasn’t initially clear why. White Sox manager Tony La Russa said after the game that Donaldson had made “a racist comment” directed at Anderson, which both Anderson and Donaldson eventually revealed was the “Jackie” comment.

“He just made a disrespectful comment,” Anderson said after the game. “He Basically he was trying to call me Jackie Robinson, like ‘What’s up Jackie?’ I don’t play like that. I don’t really play at all. I wasn’t really gonna bother nobody today. But he made the comment, and it was disrespectful. I don’t think it was called for.”

Donaldson later defended himself and said he was joking while referencing a 2019 interview Anderson did with Sports illustrated, where Anderson compared himself to Jackie Robinson. He said the two joked about it in 2019, too.

“I don’t know what’s changed — and I’ve said it to him in years past,” Donaldson said after the game. “Not in any manner than just joking around for the fact that he called himself Jackie Robinson. If something has changed from that, my meaning of that — has not any term trying to be racist by any fact of the matter. It was just off of an interview of what he called himself.”

If he was joking, though, Anderson clearly didn’t find it funny — especially considering he said he warned Donaldson about using that term in 2019.

Donaldson was suspended for one game for the comment by the league for his “poor judgment.” Donaldson is appealing the ruling.

Tim Anderson said he warned Josh Donaldson about calling him “Jackie” back in 2019. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/Getty Images)

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