Aaron Boone spoke with Josh Donaldson and other Yankees about Saturday’s incident involving Tim Anderson, and he agrees that Donaldson should not have invoked Jackie Robinson’s name in his exchange with the White Sox shortstop.
Chicago manager Tony La Russa charged that Donaldson made a “racist” comment when he said on the field to Anderson, who is Black, “what’s up Jackie,” leading to the benches-clearing incident later in the Yankees’ 7-5 victory. Donaldson contended after the game that he was joking about Anderson referring to himself in a 2019 Sports Illustrated story as “today’s Jackie Robinson.”
“I understand that Josh has been very forthcoming with the history of it, the context of it. I don’t believe there was any malicious intent with that regard. This is just somewhere in my opinion he should not be going,” Boone said before Sunday’s doubleheader at the Stadium.
Boone acknowledged that he also was immediately bothered to learn that Robinson’s name was used before hearing Donaldson’s public and private explanations.
“When I first heard the name Jackie mentioned, I was really taken aback and frankly upset about it myself,” Boone said. “I think when you go back to the context, the original story of where it was born out of, out of the article, and then now a few years of saying that, I’m less taken aback by it at that point.
“But again, I sit here, as a white guy, that did change the context for me, but I also understand how it can be offensive or upsetting.”
Boone added that his “sense” is this isn’t an issue in the Yankees’ clubhouse.