Major League Baseball announced on Wednesday that Chicago Cubs infielder Addison Russell will be suspended 40 games for violating MLB’s domestic violence policy. The suspension will be retroactive to Sept. 21, the day Russell was placed on administrative leave.
Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. announced today that Chicago Cubs infielder Addison Russell has accepted a 40-game suspension without pay for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy. The unpaid suspension of Russell is retroactive to September 21st. Russell has agreed not to appeal the discipline. Consistent with the terms of the Policy, Russell will participate in a confidential and comprehensive evaluation and treatment program supervised by the Joint Policy Board.
Commissioner Manfred issued the following statement regarding the discipline:
“My office has completed its investigation into the allegations that Addison Russell violated Major League Baseball’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy. Having reviewed all of the available evidence, I have concluded that Mr. Russell violated the Policy and should be subject to discipline in the form of an unpaid suspension that will cover 40 games.”
Russell was initially put on administrative leave after his ex-wife, Melisa Reidy, published a blog post that detailed years of physical and mental abuse she endured from her spouse. Reidy chose not to name her spouse in the post, but Russell and Reidy were married from 2016 until 2018, and the two had a child together in 2015.
While Reidy’s blog post was the first time she had spoken publicly about being abused by her husband, there was a previous allegation that surfaced over a year ago. When Reidy filed for divorce from Russell in June 2017, she posted a photo of herself to Instagram with the caption “Being free to be able to make your own choices for your own happiness beats being cheated on, lied to, & disrespected any day.” In the comments one of Reidy’s friends accused Russell of hitting Reidy in front of his children.
That Instagram comment triggered a MLB investigation, but at that time Reidy wasn’t ready to speak with MLB. The investigation went dormant, but it wasn’t closed. Reidy’s recent blog post caused MLB to restart their investigation into the abuse allegations, and Reidy agreed to cooperate and speak to MLB investigators.
Russell missed 12 games while he was on administrative leave, and those will count toward his suspension. He will serve the remaining 28 games at the start of the 2019 season. He’s under contract with the Cubs until 2020.
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