BA Exclusive: Addison Russell speaks out about domestic abuse allegations, temporary MLB suspension
CHICAGO — A day after the Chicago Cubs ended their championship aspiration with the wild-card loss to Colorado Rockies, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred announced on Wednesday that Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell has been suspended for 40 games, without pay.
The statement came after MLB completed its year-long investigation on domestic violence against 24-year old Filipino American Addison Russell.
Reports say the investigation was reignited when 24-year old Melisa Reidy, Russell’s ex-wife, posted about her experience on domestic abuse, two weeks ago.
“The physical stuff wasn’t every day. Or every month. It was just when [expletive] hit the fan. Fights started getting worse, he started breaking things. He broke my phone in half with his hands one day over something.”
“After gaining a full understanding of the situation, I have concluded it’s in the best interest of my family to accept MLB’s proposed resolution of this matter,” Russell said in a statement released by his attorneys Wednesday. “I wish my ex-wife well and hope we can live in peace for the benefit of our child.”
Russell, who was placed on administrative leave Sept. 21st, denied the allegations in a statement, but accepted the suspension, and will not appeal.
“It is sad what had happened. The decision was made; unfortunately, we didn’t like it. But it is what it is. And we are going to put this all behind us.”
Russell’s mother Milany says her son, just like his entire family, remains heartbroken and in shock.
“I had no idea that she was gonna post that blog. I had no idea that these were even issues. Even with the accusations 15 months ago, she has never personally talked to us about any of the problems with our son, if there were any.”
When asked, how the family is holding up, Milany says, “I don’t know what her agenda is. I cannot speak for her. But I can tell you that as a mother, hearing about this, it’s my natural instinct to want to protect my son; take the burden and pain away from him, and the humiliation.”
Mariel Perez, a domestic violence advocate, says all victims should know this: “Stand up, speak up, step up.”
“Domestic violence should be taken seriously and should never be tolerated. He should face the consequences but as a player, I will still support him and I wish him the best.”
No criminal charges have been filed against Russell. His suspension is retroactive to September 21st.
Meanwhile, Russell will participate in a confidential and comprehensive evaluation and treatment program supervised by the joint policy board.