Jackie Robinson was in headlines this weekend when New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson referred to Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson as “Jackie” during Saturday’s game, igniting a brouhaha between the teams. Whether Donaldson was joking around, as he insisted, or used Robinson’s name in a “racist” manner, as Sox manager Tony La Russa said, it was certain to be a hot-button debate throughout baseball. No matter where you stand on the issue, there’s no arguing Jackie Robinson’s name remains as relevant in baseball today as it was when he broke the major-league color barrier 75 years ago. If cooler heads prevail, this could be a teachable moment for Donaldson and anyone else trying to understand why using Robinson’s name was considered “disrespectful” by Anderson and “racist” by La Russa. Robinson endured slights both public and private throughout his career, as most fans surely know.

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