Addison Russell has been placed on administrative leave as MLB investigates recent allegations of his physical and psychological abuse of former wife, Melisa Reidy-Russell. The couple split in 2017 following accusations of Russell’s serial cheating, the revelation of which in an Instagram post eventually led to one of Reidy-Russell’s friends making an abuse allegation.
A subsequent MLB investigation went nowhere after Reidy-Russell chose not to cooperate, but she came forward with a detailed account of her abuse in a blog post earlier this week. In the wake of these new allegations, the investigation has been reopened.
Russell was not with the Cubs at Guaranteed Rate Field and he did not speak publicly Friday, but he did release the following statement through the MLB Players Association:
“These allegations are completely false. I made that clear to MLB last year and reiterated it to the Cubs today. I’m confident any full and fair investigation will fully exonerate me. The protection of my children is foremost in my mind so I will have no further comment.”
Compare that to the statement he released last year:
Statement from Russell: Any allegation I have abused my wife is false & hurtful. For the well-being of my family, I have no further comment.
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) June 8, 2017
“Any allegation I have abused my wife is false and hurtful. For the well-being of my family, I have no further comment.”
Under the domestic violence policy agreed to by both MLB and the players association in 2015, the “Commissioner’s Office will investigate all allegations of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse involving members of the baseball community. The Commissioner may place an accused player on paid administrative leave for up to seven days while allegations are investigated. Players may challenge any decision before the arbitration panel.”
The Commissioner will then decide on appropriate disciplinary action, with no minimum or maximum penalties set forth by the policy. This process is independent from criminal investigations, so a player can be suspended without any actual arrest or conviction taking place.
Simply based on the very basics of the situation and policy, we’ll likely know more about Russell’s future by next Friday. And based on other intricacies, I’d be surprised if we ever see him in a Cubs uniform again.