Black Lives Matter protesters at Yankee Stadium call for Josh Donaldson’s ouster over ‘Jackie’ remark
An angry group of Black Lives Matter demonstrators outside Yankee Stadium called Wednesday for the Bronx Bombers to release third baseman Josh Donaldson over his racial dustup with White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson.
The protesters gathered outside the Bronx ballpark where Anderson reacted angrily when Donaldson referred to the Black player as “Jackie” this past weekend — a snide reference to Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson, who broke baseball’s color line in 1947.
“Donaldson’s gotta go!” the group organized by Black Lives Matter Greater New York chanted outside Gate 4 of the House that Ruth Built. Others raised signs with “Racism is Racism” written above the team’s familiar NY logo.
“Jackie Robinson was a pioneer for MLB and Black wealth in general, and it is shameful that Donaldson would invoke his name in this manner,” said Councilwoman Kristin Richardson Jordan (D-Manhattan).
“We urge the Yankees to support Black-led initiatives in light of these comments as a form of good will,” she added.
The incident happened this past Saturday, with Donaldson making the remark while standing on second base only a soft toss away from Anderson’s spot in the infield.
Donaldson said the remark was a friendly joke among friends. But Anderson said he wasn’t friends with Donaldson and that the comment was racist.
Major League Baseball announced that Donaldson has been suspended for one game and fined an undisclosed amount for “inappropriate comments during Saturday’s game.”
“We cannot allow a little bit of racism to slide,” said Chivona Newsome, co-founder of Black Lives Matter Greater New York. “We cannot allow people like Donaldson to get away with these microaggressions, to get away with this anti-Black behavior.”
Donaldson has elected to appeal the suspension. The Yankees did not respond to a Wednesday email for comment on the protest, but MLB senior vice president for on-field operations Michael Hill said the infielder was unquestionably in the wrong.
“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,” read a statement from Hill.