Major League Baseball placed Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell on administrative leave on Friday afternoon after allegations of physical and emotional abuse were made in a blog post linked to his ex-wife, Melisa Reidy.
“We take allegations of domestic violence seriously and support the League’s decision to place Addison Russell on administrative leave given new details revealed today,” the Cubs said in a statement on Friday. “We will continue to cooperate with the League’s investigation so the appropriate action can be taken.”
This was not the first time M.L.B. has investigated Russell. In June 2017, someone identified as Reidy’s friend accused Russell of “mentally and physically abusing” his wife on social media.
Russell denied those claims at the time. Reidy, who has one child with Russell, filed for divorce soon thereafter.
In Friday’s statement, M.L.B. said that its office of investigations looked into those accusations, but that Reidy declined to cooperate.
“Our investigation of this matter has remained open and we have continued our efforts to gather information,” the statement said.
An Instagram account belonging to Reidy included a link to a blog post dated Wednesday that accused Russell, 24, of infidelity and emotional, verbal and physical abuse. No details of the physical abuse were provided. The author of the post used the handle “lifewithmelis” and did not refer to Russell by name.
“As time went on abusive behavior happened more often in arguments (more so when he was under the influence) & the verbal/emotional abuse grew to new levels,” the blog post read. “Friends would express their concerns with me but I would assure them that I was okay, he lost his temper & wasn’t himself. Everyday began to be a struggle to fake the convincing smile of a happy wife I grew accustomed to.”
She later added: “Outside looking in, others may and probably will have a lot of negative things to say for sharing my story but after what I’ve experienced, I’m not easily intimidated anymore. I’m giving myself a voice. No matter who you are or what you’re going through, you should not be afraid or ashamed to speak out about any type of abuse regardless who it will offend.”
Since M.L.B. overhauled its domestic violence policy in 2015, eight players have received suspensions, ranging from 15 to 100 games. During the 2016 season, the Cubs traded for closer Aroldis Chapman, who was suspended 30 games that year. He later helped lead to them to their first World Series in 108 years.
With a week left in the regular season, the Cubs hold a narrow lead in the National League Central standings over the Milwaukee Brewers.
Russell’s production has slipped each season since his All-Star 2016 campaign. He also missed time this season with finger injury. He is hitting .250 with five home runs and a .657 on-base-plus-slugging-percentage in 130 games.