Benches Clear in Yankees-White Sox Game

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.”

Tim Anderson and Josh Donaldson have words in the first inning of today’s game between the White Sox and Yankees. Anderson took offense to Donaldson calling him “Jackie” — which Donaldson says was a reference to a 2019 interview where Anderson said, “I kind of feel like today’s Jackie Robinson […] I feel like I’m getting to a point where I need to change the game.”

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.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MAY 21: umpire Nick Mahrley #48 attempts to separate Yasmani Grandal #24 of the Chicago White Sox and Josh Donaldson #28 of the New York Yankees during the fifth inning at Yankee Stadium on May 21, 2022 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

May 21, 2022; Bronx, New York, USA; Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson (7) is restrained by infielder Gavin Sheets (32) and first baseman Jose Abreu (79) after the dugouts emptied in the fifth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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