Today’s contrived controversy shows what a bang-up job Barack Obama and race-baiting progressives have done “improving” race relations in the U.S.
A week ago, black White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson and white Yankee third baseman Josh Donaldson got into a small confrontation when the latter appeared to push Anderson off third base, prompting Anderson to shoving Donaldson in return and the two exchanging words. Coaches got between the two before anything further occurred. The two crossed paths again today twice, in the seventh inning after Donaldson walked and was forced at second on a double play ball. Anderson turned and seemed to say something to Donaldson, who seemed to be laughing as he ran back to the dugout. Earlier, in the fifth, Anderson had run toward the Yankee at home plate as benches emptied.
What was going on? Anderson claimed that Donaldson had directed a “racist comment” his way. The accusation was picked up by White Sox manager Tony La Russa and White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal. For once, the news media told us what the “racist comment” was.
Donaldson called Anderson “Jackie,” as in Jackie Robinson. That’s a racial slur now? Good to know.
Both Donaldson and Anderson have well-established reputations as jerks, or, in less pejorative terms, super-combative personalities. Donaldson said that he has called Anderson “Jackie” more than once. It dates back to a Sports Illustrated article in 2019 in which Anderson suggested that he was the game’s current version of the civil rights and color-line breaking icon. The reference by Donaldson is obviously intended to needle Anderson, and it obviously worked.
I stumbled upon this controversy when I heard Anderson tell a reporter after the game that Donaldson had used a racist term. Really? I was amazed that even Donaldson would dare, since racial and homophobic slurs are banned on the field as “fighting words” and grounds for suspension. Then I heard what the allegedly racist term was. The baseball pundits on the MLB channel were twisting themselves into pretzels later to find some way to justify Anderson’s accusation. Given the past incident and the tensions of the game, the sarcastic comment was “unnecessarily provocative” was the best the two former players “of color,” Pedro Martinez and Carlos Pena could do. Oooh, sarcasm!
It’s racist to take a preening black player down a peg? A white player isn’t allowed to do it? Is that the new rule? If a white player described himself as the new Bab Ruth, would it be racist for an opposing black pitcher to call him “Babe” after he struck out? Such psychological warfare has always been part of the game; some players’ skills at getting under opposing players’ skin were regarded as enhancing their value.
Is Jackie the only mocking moniker that is racist now, or will Willie, Hank, or Barry serve as well? Or are black players now immune from being kidded for their self-glorifying comments in the media? “It’s just uncalled for,” Anderson, his boo-boo hurt, said today. Funny, I would say that comparing yourself to a baseball icon makes such sarcasm very much called for, unless you can back it up on the field.
MLB, however, says that it is “concerned” and will investigate the incident. Baseball has been a full participant in The Great Stupid, so don’t bet against it punishing Donaldson for “sarcasm that heightens racial sensitivities,” or something. Then watch more black players claim that white players’ “disrespect” is racism.
Jackie Robinson would presumably find Anderson’s complaint ridiculous. Robinson had to listen to racist epithets from players and fans for most of his career, and never complained about them to the press. Now a far lesser player who presumed to don Robinson’s mantle is complaining that being called “Jackie” is a racial slur.