On Thursday Chicago Cubs’ infielder, Addison Russell denied allegations of domestic violence against his wife but Major League Baseball (MLB) is still investigating.
Russell’s wife, Melisa Russell posted on Instagram accusing Russell of cheating on her and implied the couple was going to separate. In one of the comments on the post, one of Melisa’s close friends accused Addison of physically abusing Melisa.
In a statement released Thursday afternoon, the young infielder addressed the situation but did not say much. “Any allegation I have abused my wife is false and hurtful,” Russell said. “For the well-being of my family, I’ll have no further comment.”
Russell did not play in Thursday’s game against the Colorado Rockies. Russell was given the night off and Cubs’ manager, Joe Maddon, said he will be held out of the lineup as the investigation plays out.
“Last night, we were made aware of a serious claim posted on social media about Addison Russell,” the Cubs said in a statement Thursday. “We reached out to Major League Baseball and, following the protocol established by MLB, will fully cooperate with the Commissioner’s Office as it gathers pertinent facts. Addison will not be in uniform tonight to allow him to work through this matter.”
A Chicago Police Department spokesman told the Associated Press that the department “does not have any current investigation” into Russell or the claims of domestic violence.
In 2015, Major League Baseball along with the players’ union agreed to a new policy which called for more serious punishments for domestic violence. Former Cubs closer Aroldis Chapman was suspended for 30 games under the policy last season.
Russell faces potential suspension from the league and although the Chicago Police Department currently has no investigation into him, that could change. In the state of Illinois, when a violent act or physical harm occurs within a family or in a dating relationship, the state may prosecute the person who committed the act on a criminal charge of domestic violence.
Criminal domestic violence laws generally focus on physical harm, while civil domestic violence laws cover physical, emotional, and sexual harm.
It seems as though the Cubs and Major League Baseball are taking these accusations seriously and handling them diligently, as they should. Domestic violence is very serious and needs to be treated as such.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline staffs expert advocates 24/7 to talk confidentially with anyone in the United States who is experiencing domestic violence, seeking resources or information or questioning unhealthy aspects of their relationship. If you or someone you care about is involved in an unhealthy relationship call the toll free hotline at 1-800-799-7233 | 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)