Tampa Bay Rays catcher Derek Norris is at the center of a Major League Baseball investigation after his ex-fiancée accused him of abuse in an Instagram post.
MLB confirmed to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick that it is looking into the allegations against Norris, which stem from the following Instagram post from Kristen Eck. She never mentions Norris by name, but this MLB Network interview from 2015 signals that Eck and Norris were involved, as she was part of a charity event put on Padres wives when Norris played in San Diego.
Here’s the full text of her post (emphasis ours):
Four years ago I went back to school to get my degree, shortly after, I moved across the country for love. Three years ago I was engaged. Two years ago I was planning a wedding. And one year ago I left the person I thought I was going to marry. I had beautiful moments with a man and I fell in love with a sense of humor and authentic soul that I wanted to spend my life with. I also was physically and emotionally abused by this beautiful man. He gave me a lifestyle most people only dreamed of, but it came at a price. I am forever thankful for the joy, love and laughter he shared with me. I am also forever grateful for the darkness I experienced. Because of that, today is more full of light than I would have ever expected. When I left I had $300 to my name, I had no access to money, I had no access to cars and was only given the courtesy to remove my items from our home. When I left, he and his family made sure I had nothing. But, that is far from true.
I had my life, I had my family, I had my friends and I had the fight and heart that has been in me since I was a little girl. With the help of a stranger I met in an airport I was given the strength to get on my feet and fight to rebuild my life. I sold what “materialistic” items I was able to take with me in order to fly to San Diego and live until I could find a job. I found a job, I found a place to live and I found myself. As I sit here, shaking, scared to share a small glimpse of the last year of my life I can’t help but let tears fall down my cheeks. I just finished my last day of my school. I am officially a college graduate, living in my dream city, working for a great company, teaching yoga and more importantly I am free of anxiety and surrounded by the love, support, grace and kindness of my friends and family and strangers and the world.
Thank you to everybody who listened to me vent. Thank you to those who held me as I cried for hours. Thank you for those that didn’t judge my nightmares. Thank you to those who supported my dreams. Thank you to those who encouraged me when I could finally laugh again. Thank you to those who gave advice. Thank you to those who didn’t speak and were just there.
Norris is in his first year with the Rays after he was traded from the Padres to the Washington Nationals last winter then released in spring training. He’s played 43 games so far for the Rays, but he hasn’t played since Saturday because of a back injury.
Baseball has gotten more serious about domestic violence issues in the past couple years. It introduced a new policy in the summer of 2015 that gave commissioner Rob Manfred ultimate authority in all punishment and allowed for players to be suspended with pay while claims are being investigated. So far, that’s meant a range in severity depending on the case. The most recent player punished was New York Mets closer Jeurys Familia, who was suspended 15 games after an offseason arrest, from which the charges were eventually dropped.
First things first in the Norris case, MLB will need to investigate Eck’s claims and see if they warrant punishment.
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