La Russa: Donaldson directed ‘racist comment’ at Anderson originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
After Saturday’s game between White Sox and Yankees, we learned that the benches-clearing incident among Yasmani Grandal, Tim Anderson and Josh Donaldson went beyond your regular baseball dustup.
“(Donaldson) made a racist comment, and that’s all I’m going to say,” said Tony La Russa after the game.
La Russa adamantly refused to speak more on the topic, but Anderson relayed exactly what transpired between himself and Donaldson.
“He was trying to call me Jackie Robinson, like ‘What’s up, Jackie?’” Anderson said. “I don’t play like that. I wasn’t really bothering nobody today, but he made the comment and it was disrespectful. I don’t think it was called for. It was unnecessary.”
It wasn’t an isolated incident either.
“It happened in the firstー the first time he got onー and I spared him that time,” Anderson said. “Then it happened again, and it was just uncalled for. We don’t need to be playing like that.”
Donaldson didn’t deny the allegations, but tried to brush it aside as a joke, per the Athletic.
Clearly, Anderson and the rest of the White Sox didn’t find the comment very funny.
“I think that’s very sad,” Dallas Keuchel said after hearing about Donaldson’s comment. “There’s no need, or room for that. Anywhere.”
“This game went through a period of time where a lot of those comments were made, and I think we’re way past that,” said Grandal. “It’s just unacceptable. I just thought it was a low blow, and I want to make sure I’ve got my team’s back. There’s no way that you’re allowed to say something like that, that like I said, is just unacceptable.”
So Grandal was sure to give Donaldson a piece of his mind before he entered the batter’s box for his next at-bat. That exchange of words is what sparked both benches to clear, and what got Anderson so riled up that he needed to be dragged back into the dugout by José Abreu and Gavin Sheets.
“Believe me, you guys don’t want to hear what I told (Donaldson),” said Grandal.
Anderson appreciated the support from his teammates in the moment, too.
“We’re a family,” Anderson said. “We take care of each other. You know, it’s all love in our locker room. We don’t really deal with crazy things like that, we try to keep it away from our vibes and what we’ve got going on. But they stepped up and had my back, and showed how connected we really are.”
Moving forward, Anderson said he wouldn’t petition the league to suspend Donaldson, or anything of that nature, even though he was handed a one-game suspension for a similar situation back in 2019.
“That’s outside myー that’s got nothing to do with me,” Anderson said.
No matter what happens with Donaldson, this won’t be an incident that Anderson forgets quickly.
“No, you’ll never sleep this off,” Anderson said. “It’s always going to be that.”