Chicago White Sox closer Liam Hendriks wasn't buying Josh Donaldson's explanation for referring to White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson as "Jackie" during Chicago's 7-5 loss to the New York Yankees on Saturday.
"Usually you have inside jokes with people you get along with, not people who don't get along at all," Hendriks told reporters Sunday. "So that statement right there was complete bulls--t."
Following Saturday's game, Anderson said Donaldson had called him "Jackie," in reference to baseball legend Jackie Robinson. When alerted to how White Sox manager Tony La Russa called the comment "racist," Anderson said he agreed with the assessment.
Donaldson told reporters he had begun calling Anderson "Jackie" after the 2021 All-Star compared himself to Robinson in a 2019 interview with Sports Illustrated's Stephanie Apstein. The veteran third baseman said he used the name jokingly and didn't have any racist intent behind it.
While not condemning Donaldson with the same force as Hendriks, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Sunday he thought the comment was ill-advised.
Bradford William Davis @BWDBWDBWD
Aaron Boone said that after the TA incident, he's working to rein Josh Donaldson's trolling. "we're talking about Jackie, we're talking about the face of...civil rights. one of the most important figures in our history."<br>Said Donaldson needs to know "that's a sensitive issue"
Newsday's Laura Albanese reported MLB was already looking into the matter and that a suspension is a possibility.
Hendriks said Sunday he spoke to "four separate clubhouses" to get some outside opinions on Donaldson, and none of the feedback he received was positive.
Although the two-time All-Star spent five seasons with the Oakland Athletics, his tenure in the Bay Area didn't overlap with that of Donaldson. They did spend a year together with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2015, though.
This isn't the first time Hendriks has spoken critically about the 2015 American League MVP.
"Playing with Donaldson, I am not a Donaldson fan," he told Vinnie Duber of NBC Sports Chicago in July 2021. "On the field, one of the greatest. You want him on the team behind you. But I saw behind the curtain too much, and I'm not a fan."