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Josh Donaldson's Suspension For 'Jackie' Comment Upheld

Donaldson's suspension was upheld, but his fine was cut in half by Major League Baseball.
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NEW YORK — Josh Donaldson's suspension for the comment he made to White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson last month was upheld by Major League Baseball, according to the Associated Press.

Donaldson, who referred to Anderson as "Jackie [Robinson]" during a Yankees-White Sox game at Yankee Stadium, will serve his one-game ban on Tuesday. After hearing Donaldson's appeal, MLB special adviser John McHale upheld the suspension, cutting the third baseman's fine down to $5,000, the Associated Press reported.

Donadson's controversial remark sparked a benches-clearing situation during the game on May 21. Later, the veteran gave his side of the story, claiming he was joking around in reference to an interview Anderson did with Sports Illustrated back in 2019, when the star called himself "today’s Jackie Robinson." 

Anderson and the White Sox took exception to Donaldson's comment, along with his explanation. The shortstop called it "disrespectful," his manager Tony La Russa said it was "racist" and White Sox closer Liam Hendriks added that Donaldson's statement was "complete bulls--t."

Shortly after his comment to Anderson, Donaldson ended up on the COVID injured list, landing on the traditional 10-day IL with right shoulder inflammation a few days later. He's only appeared in eight games since May 22.

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The former Most Valuable Player and three-time All-Star is hitting .235/.335/.395 with five home runs and 18 RBI in 45 games this season. Serving his suspension on Tuesday, Donaldson will be unavailable for the first game of a series against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. 

“Regardless of Mr. Donaldson's intent, the comment he directed toward Mr. Anderson was disrespectful and in poor judgment, particularly when viewed in the context of their prior interactions," MLB's Senior Vice President for On-Field Operations Michael Hill said in a statement when Donaldson's suspension was first announced. "In addition, Mr. Donaldson’s remark was a contributing factor in a bench-clearing incident between the teams, and warrants discipline.”

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