By Terrance Turner
May 21, 2022
Benches cleared in today’s game between the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox at Yankee Stadium. The dustup apparently began in the first inning, when White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson took offense to a comment by Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson. “He just made a disrespectful comment,” Anderson told reporters afterward, saying Donaldson asked him, “What’s up, Jackie?” early in the game.
Donaldson (who is white) said he made the comment jokingly, referring barrier-breaking MLB player Jackie Robinson. Donaldson said he was referencing a 2019 interview with Sports Illustrated in which Anderson said, “I kind of feel like today’s Jackie Robinson.” (At the time, Anderson was the only Black player on the White Sox.)
Donaldson said he wasn’t trying to be offensive and that he and Anderson have joked about this moniker in the past (notably in 2019). “I’ve said it to him in years past, not in any matter than just joking around,” he said.
But Anderson wasn’t laughing. “I don’t play like that. I don’t really play at all. I wasn’t really going to bother nobody today, but he made the comment and you know it was disrespectful and I don’t think it was called for. It was unnecessary.”
In the third inning, Donaldson rounded second base and started jawing with Anderson, per ESPN. Donaldson was escorted off the field by Yankees manager Aaron Boone. Anderson was led off by White Sox third-base coach Joe McEwing.
In the fifth inning, Donaldson started to have words with White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal, growing more animated as he pointed out Anderson. An umpire separated Grandal and Donaldson. But benches cleared as payers started to rush over to home plate. Anderson ran over, enraged, and had to be restrained by teammates Joe Abreu and Gavin Sheets.
Donaldson apologized for his remarks after the game. “Obviously, he deemed it disrespectful. And look, if he did, I apologize. That’s not what I was trying to do by any manner and that’s what happened.” He said he would be open to meeting with Anderson to discuss the incident.
It’s worth noting that these two have history. On May 13, benches cleared after Donaldson tagged Anderson out at base and then tried to push him off it.