Powell: Cubs Respond to Addison Russell Domestic Violence Allegation

Cubs shortstop Addison Russell opens a bottle of champagne after clinching the NLDS. (WGN Radio)

By Kevin Powell

The Cubs have about as squeaky-clean of an image as you can have in professional sports. They’re the darlings of baseball. Young talent. Superstars. All-Stars. So when news broke that one of those young All-Stars was accused of domestic violence, it caught everyone off guard.

“We don’t know what’s going on,” outfielder Albert Almora Jr. said before Thursday night’s game. “We’re not trying to keep anything from you guys, it’s what it is. We’ don’t know what’s going on.”

No one really knows what’s going on. All we know is that Russell’s wife, Melisa, wrote on a now-deleted Instagram post that read: “Being free to be able to make your own choices, beats being cheated on, lied & disrespected any day. #herestonewbeginnings #onlygetsbetterfrom here.”

Then in response, Carlie Reed, who appears to be a friend of Melisa’s responded: “Hateful is cheating on your wife, mentally and physically abusing her. Melisa didn’t want that out but I’ll say it. He hit her. In front of Aiden and Mila. But let’s worry about Melisa being “hateful” she was loyal, forgiving and kind and still is.”

Here is Russell’s statement on the matter:

 

And the Cubs statement:

 

Kris Bryant chimed in before their much-anticipated series with the NL West-leading Rockies: “It’s important to be a good teammate and to do whatever that entails. Obviously, it’s a serious matter, but our main focus is to focus on the field.”

Almora added: “In any allegation that’s not a positive one, you want to try and pick each other up.”

The Cubs did trade for Aroldis Chapman last season, even after the closer served a 30-game suspension from MLB for domestic violence. But Russell is a key piece to the foundation of the club. A player some believe has MVP talent. He was a major part of the World Series run. He’s appealing to the Cubs fan base.

Here’s what Theo Epstein had to say:

“Right now, this is an allegation by a third party on social media. A serious allegation. That’s why we met immediately with Addison, that why we referred it immediately to major league baseball. And that’ why we’re taking it very seriously. But as of right now, that’s what this is.”

Kevin Powell covers Chicago baseball for WGN Radio and anchors sports on The Roe Conn Show with Anna Davlantes, M-F/3-7p. Follow on twitter @kpowell720