If there was one thing guaranteed by Saturday’s confrontation between Josh Donaldson and Tim Anderson, it was an atmosphere in which the dumbest and most dishonest observers would feel emboldened to share their dumb and dishonest opinions on the matter. Certain white people never miss an opportunity to tell a black person that the the racism they encountered was not actually racist—you have to consider all the context!—and those white people wasted no time rushing to Donaldson’s defense.
One might hope that such glib dismissals of Anderson’s feelings would not dictate the behaviors of any meaningful number of fans, but such a hope would misunderstand how things like this tend to go. Once various morons started constructing a framework for debate around what Donaldson said to Anderson, it was inevitably going to become metabolized by fans as a controversy rather what it really was: something deeply unpleasant that Anderson should not have had to experience. Controversy brings with it the option of picking sides, and Yankees fans picked theirs on Sunday:
This is ugly. Anderson clearly stated that he was offended by Donaldson’s racist joke and didn’t find it funny, and the response that came from every single fan who decided to boo on Sunday was, We don’t care.
Anderson did not seem rattled by the boos, at least not enough to prevent him from hitting a three-run homer in the eighth inning, which he then followed up with a special message for the fans in attendance:
The good news is that the White Sox and Yankees do not play each other again in the regular season, which means that, barring a meeting in the playoffs, Anderson got the final word on Sunday night. As it should be.