Report: MLB to Investigate Domestic Violence Allegations Against Addison Russell (UPDATES: Russell Denies Any Abuse)

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Report: MLB to Investigate Domestic Violence Allegations Against Addison Russell (UPDATES: Russell Denies Any Abuse)

Chicago Cubs
[SEE MANY UPDATES BELOW as this story has unfolded today. The original post follows.]

I don’t really know Addison Russell. I don’t really know Melisa Russell. I don’t really know any of their friends.

I think it’s worth taking stock of those things at the outset of something like this.

The Sun-Times reports this morning that Major League Baseball is going to investigate domestic violence allegations against Addison Russell.

In social media postings yesterday, Russell’s wife Melisa indicated that there was trouble in the marriage – infidelity was mentioned – and the two may be splitting up. Someone who was identified as a friend of Melisa’s replied to the posting with separate allegations of domestic violence. The original post, together with the replies, has since been deleted.

Given MLB’s justifiably firm stance on domestic violence, an investigation was presumed from the moment those comments went public. MLB has the authority to suspend players who have been involved in domestic violence, separate from legal proceedings.

We will await further updates from Russell, Russell’s family, and/or the Cubs, if any should deem updates appropriate.

From where I sit, we have so little information that I don’t think it appropriate to draw any kind of conclusions in one direction or the other, or speculate on possible outcomes here. All we know is that the comments were made, and MLB is understandably investigating further.

UPDATE: MLB has confirmed that it is “looking into” the allegations (Tribune). Kris Bryant was interviewed on the radio today, offering what seems to be the most appropriate response from a teammate right now:

UPDATE 2: Russell has denied the allegations, and it doesn’t sound like he’ll be speaking on the issue further at this time.

He released the following official statement: “Any allegation I have abused my wife is false and hurtful. For the well-being of my family, I’ll have no further comment.”

Playing under the cloud of an investigation, however involved, cannot be easy. How Russell and the Cubs will handle that, and what the next steps will be, is pretty much anyone’s guess at this point – and I’m not inclined to do any guessing on something so serious.

For now, we are where we are: allegations were levied by a friend of Russell’s wife, Russell has denied them, and MLB is doing what it is supposed to do by investigating.

UPDATE 3: Russell is not going to be at the park tonight and is not available for the game, per a Cubs statement:

“Last night, we were made aware of a serious claim posted on social media about Addison Russell. 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.”

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.