Chicago Cubs

Cubs' Russell Denies Allegations of Spousal Abuse

Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell denied Thursday allegations he has abused his wife.

Major League Baseball is planning to investigate domestic violence allegations against Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell, according to a report.

"Any allegation I have abused my wife is false and hurtful,” Russell said in a statement issued by the Cubs. “For the well-being of my family, I’ll have no further comment.”

The organization confirmed the news to NBC Chicago Thursday saying they are "looking into the claims made against Addison Russell," according to Director of Communications Donald Muller. 

"Last night, we were made aware of a serious claim posted on social media about Addison Russell," the Cubs said in a statement. "We reached out to Major League Baseball and, following the protocol established by MLB, will fully cooperate with the Commissioner's Office as it gathers pertinent facts. Addison will not be in uniform tonight to allow him to work through this matter.”

The news, first reported by Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times, comes on the heels of an Instagram post made by Russell’s wife Melisa. In the since-deleted post, Melisa Russell accused her husband of cheating on her:

In the comment section of one of the images, a woman claiming to be Melisa Russell’s best friend said that the shortstop “mentally and physically” abused his wife:

According to Wittenmyer’s report, MLB is expected to try to interview both Melisa Russell and the friend that commented on the Instagram post about the incident. 

Major League Baseball adopted new stricter policies on domestic violence allegations back in 2015. The league can place players on administrative leave for up to seven days while they investigate allegations, and there is no minimum or maximum punishment that the league can impose if they deem that a violation of the policy took place. 

Several players, including former Chicago Cubs closer Aroldis Chapman and New York Mets infielder Jose Reyes, have been suspended under the league's expanded domestic violence guidelines since they took effect. 

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