The Issue: A fight between Yankees player Josh Donaldson and White Sox player Tim Anderson.
Memo to White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson, who took umbrage with Yankee third baseman Josh Donaldson referring to him as “Jackie,” as in Jackie Robinson: Get over it and yourself (“Boone: Donaldson shouldn’t have made ‘Jackie’ comment,” May 23).
Anyone with the chutzpah to refer to himself as “today’s Jackie Robinson,” as Anderson did in a 2019 Sports Illustrated interview, deserves to be teased and needled.
Anderson gets my vote for this year’s “MLB chip-on-the-shoulder award.”
Fall River, Mass.
The Yankees and/or Major League Baseball should suspend and fine Donaldson for his racist comment directed to Anderson.
Jackie Robinson went through hell when he broke the color barrier. Branch Rickey is rolling in his grave.
This story has been blown way out of proportion. At the age of 26, Anderson said he was “today’s Jackie Robinson” in a Sports Illustrated article. No doubt he was kidded by more people than Donaldson for comparing himself to the iconic figure, who did more than rack up stats while crashing a very ugly color barrier.
No doubt Donaldson knowingly irked him by using the words that Anderson had used to describe himself. He could have displayed a calm demeanor.
The young, ambitious Anderson was fined in April for making obscene gestures toward a fan. This was after he was suspended for the first two games of the 2022 season and fined $10,000 for an incident last September with an umpire. He acts like a hotshot with a temper.
Let’s not call this racism. Dismiss this story for what it is: Two guys who both should have used some temperance. In other words: Grow up.
Perhaps, as a 63-year-old Caucasian, I am missing something but if I were an African-American baseball player and somebody called me “Jackie” in reference to Jackie Robinson, I might take that as a compliment, not an insult.
But in this everybody-has-to-play-the-victim climate in which we live, we have to create all this moral outrage.
And now Major League Baseball says it is investigating the matter. What is there to investigate?
Anderson started the Jackie Robinson thing by claiming to be a modern-day Robinson.
No matter how talented Anderson is, he’s way off base comparing himself to Robinson.
Robinson went through hell by being the first black man in the Major Leagues, and to perform as he did under that kind of pressure makes him stand alone forever — no matter how many talented ballplayers surpass his record in the future.
Since Anderson started the Robinson comparison, Donaldson’s reference may be viewed as a put-down to Anderson, as in, “you’re no Jackie Robinson.” But how does that translate into racism?
Racism exists, unfortunately, but it’s time we get real and stop calling anything we don’t like “racism.”
Beacon Falls, Conn.
The Yankees’ Josh Donaldson calling the White Sox’ Tim Anderson “Jackie” may have been intentionally disrespectful and disparaging, but it was no more “racist” than Lloyd Bentsen saying to Dan Quayle in their 1988 Vice Presidential candidates debate: “I knew Jack Kennedy, and you’re no Jack Kennedy.”
And by the way, Anderson, who previously called himself “today’s Jackie Robinson,” is nowhere as great a baseball player as Jackie Robinson was.
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