Major League Baseball’s investigation into Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell may have hit a snag on Wednesday. Russell’s wife, Melisa, released a statement through her lawyers saying she declined to speak with MLB officials regarding the domestic violence allegations against her soon-to-be ex-husband.
Mrs. Russell has declined the invitation from Major League Baseball to be interviewed relative to social media postings and allegations of domestic violence. It is her desire to pursue a resolution that is, first and foremost, in the best interest of the parties’ son, and which occurs in a swift, amicable and private fashion.
MLB’s investigation began following a social media post by Melisa Russell in which she alleged Addison Russell had been unfaithful to her. That post has since been deleted.
The domestic abuse allegations were not part of the post and did not come from Melisa. They emerged in the comments of Melisa’s post. Someone claiming to be Melisa’s friend said Addison “mentally and physically” abused Melisa during the relationship. That’s what caused MLB to look into the situation.
The day after Melisa’s post went up, the Cubs held Addison out of the lineup. He released a short statement to the media, denying any allegations that he abused his wife.
“Any allegation I have abused my wife is false and hurtful. For the well-being of my family, I’ll have no further comment,” it read.
After missing one game, Russell was allowed to return to the team. He’s been a fixture in the Cubs lineup as MLB continues its investigation.
Russell isn’t the only player currently being investigated by the league. Tampa Bay Rays catcher Derek Norris is also being looked at after his ex-girlfriend accused him of domestic abuse in a blog post. Norris has denied those allegations.
Though law enforcement was not involved in either scenario, the league can still punish Norris and Russell depending on what it finds. Under the new policy introduced in 2015, commissioner Rob Manfred has the ultimate disciplinary power in all cases involving domestic violence.
Since that policy has been introduced, the league has suspended New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman, New York Mets infielder Jose Reyes and Mets reliever Jeurys Familia under similar situations. Charges were not brought against those players, but Manfred still found enough evidence to warrant a suspension.
Even if Melisa Russell does not cooperate with MLB officials, Addison Russell could still face a punishment from the league. The charges against Reyes were dropped after his wife refused to speak with prosecutors. Familia’s wife asked that charges be dropped against her husband, saying she did not fear for her life on the night she called police. Both players were still suspended under the new policy.
More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:
– – – – – – –