Cubs News/Notes Opinion

Cubs Need to Cut Ties With Addison Russell

After the harrowing details of Addison Russell's abuse went public, Austin Bloomberg writes that the the Cubs have no choice but to cut ties with the troubled player.

A few days ago Addison Russell‘s ex-wife, Melisa, publicly detailed her harrowing account of abuse — both physical and verbal. It is a difficult and tragic read — and necessary for Cubs fans in order to fully absorb the gravity of this situation.

You may recall that these allegations surfaced last season, ultimately yielding no justice. When Melisa first went public on Instagram concerning Addison’s infidelity, her friend commented that there was also physical abuse in their relationship. While those comments have since been deleted, and while neither Melisa nor her friend were willing to speak with MLB (or authorities) concerning the allegations, there was an investigation by MLB. That investigation was never officially closed. And now it’s time to blow that door wide open.

Stand in solidarity with Melisa

There is no room for criticism of Melisa. The timeline in which she shares her story is hers to determine, and we should applaud her bravery for doing so now. Detailing one’s suffering in a public manner is impossibly difficult, and deriding her for waiting until she was ready is not only immoral, it lends sensitivity to her abuser. And given the reality that physical abuse and sexual assault have been in the forefront of the public eye, with folks bending over backwards to defend and support abusers, it’s no wonder it took time for Melisa to share her suffering.

Bear in mind that women stand nothing to gain from publicly denouncing their abusers. A cursory glance in the news concludes as much. Melisa standing up for herself will create the unintentional consequence of abuse, trolling, and intimidation — all of which is shameful. Her strength is to be admired, her story another reason for all of us to stand against domestic abuse.

Abuse has been the norm in our country and culture, prolifically so in the world of professional sports. While MLB has taken steps to address this issue, they need to do more. Suspensions and fines are merely a slap on the wrist, teaching men that so long as they produce on the field their actions off of it are ancillary and irrelevant.

How should the Cubs respond?

Since the day these allegations surfaced I dismissed Addison Russell. I hated that he was on this team, but I also understood that without cooperation from Melisa and her friend there was little the Cubs or MLB could do.

Clearly, this has changed. The organization has an obligation to promote justice, to stand in solidarity with those that have suffered at the hands of their employers. A suspension should be the immediate cause of action, with a thorough investigation to conclude before they officially release him. They should spare no expense in supporting Melisa, they should donate to organizations that actively support women like her, and they should publicly denounce Addison Russell.

This isn’t an overreaction, and it’s not a holier-than-thou assessment. This is the baseline of what decency is. Tolerance for abuse — or mitigation thereof — is inexcusable. The Cubs have no options: the only correct path is to indefinitely suspend Russell, the ultimate goal a sincere desire for justice. For a team that has openly stated its dedication to character, there is no room for error.

Whether or not Melisa decides to cooperate with the Cubs, MLB, or the authorities is her decision, and hers alone. Men, especially, have zero authority to criticize her, and we have an obligation to defend her while actively combating all forms of abuse any where we see it.

It doesn’t matter if Russell was performing at his 2016 level. Hell, it wouldn’t matter if he was the second coming of Ozzie Smith. He’s an abuser, and he doesn’t belong in a Cubs uniform. I only hope the organization responds appropriately.

Follow Austin Bloomberg on Twitter–Feature Photo Credit: Yahoo Sports 

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Austin is the Lead Cubs Writer for The Loop Sports. He's a lifelong baseball junkie (due to his father) and as a former college pitcher has a particular affinity for the art of pitching. Austin loves to commute in Chicago on his bicycle, and enjoys camping and canoeing as often as possible. He attained his master's degree in Social Justice and Community Development from Loyola University Chicago in 2014.

24 comments on “Cubs Need to Cut Ties With Addison Russell

  1. What happened to innocent until proven guilty? Should Melisa be completely discredited and called a liar until the validity of her claims are verified? A blog post does not constitute proof.

  2. Are you sure everything she is saying is truthful? I despise abusers but rushing to condemn someone without hearing the other side is an invitation for the abused to exaggerate in order to gain revenge. Slow down and wait for all sides to be told. Justice isn’t in a hurry.

  3. Because of his ex wife’s blog? Absolutely not.

  4. Are we not questioning the validity of her claims when she has came out and said she will not answer questions from investigators?

  5. Ok, to imply that you have based this story on facts, is absurd. You are simply spouting off opinions. There is no proof anywhere of Addison hitting her. If there were, then we would have seen it. Your artistic integrity is butchered with each word you wrote here. It’s disgusting. You say he should be suspended indefinitely, based on allegations that were retracted. You’re sick

  6. This article is absolutely ridiculous. How can you possibly advocate for punishment of a person without any evidence of wrong doing. The alleged victim herself didnt even claim physical abuse. By your own words, her “friend” left a comment suggesting such. To punish a person to the fullest extent based on blind accusations alone from a third party is immoral and dangerous. If there were some sort of evidence brought forth, then I am in complete agrement that Russell should be subject to the harshest penalties available. But to suggest that a comment from a persons friend on a social media post warrants the complete destruction of someones professional career and basically life is something that only happens under a dictatorship. Innocent until proven guilty, ever heard of it?

  7. If he’s guilty then the Cubs should do what they can to help rehabilitate him, cutting ties with him isn’t the solution. A true plan of action on helping him rehabilitate himself is the way to go, not turn your back at someone when they are at their lowest.

  8. Jeffrey mangen

    What do women have to gain by accusing ? uhh money, when the accused is rich with a high profile. Like has already been mentioned, u are
    too quick to condemn. Oh and by the way marriage is full of plenty of what his wife is accusing him of mental abuse emotional abuse that takes place sometime during a marriage both sides takes 2 to tango. Are u a man or a woman sure sound like a woman, lets break out the pitch forks and go kill the Frankenstein Monster!! Wow reading your article again u are ready to get rid of him and ruin his career. U are nuts !! How bout we let this play out then u save your judgement til afterwards. Your views on this are a wee bit extreme u cant possibly know every last detail of everything that has happened. This just another chapter in the “Me Too” Movement, might as well all ride the wave of this madness. I pray in the end all goes well for both but I don’t want to see Russell’s career derailed unless he is actually guilty of something bad. Just weird this all comes out at the end of the season while all things are still in play, very weird.

    • What does that comment mean, “are you a man or a woman?” Who cares? What you are implying is that the writer is inferior because you think he sounds like a woman. I don’t know what happened between these two but grow up because “sounding like a woman” should not be an insult.

    • I am also of the opinion that he’s innocent until proven guilty. But you’re pretty clearly a bigot, which makes your opinion irrelevant

    • What does she gain by lying. He’s out of a job and can’t pay his child support. Why would she bite the hand that feeds her. I think she needs to cooperate with investigation. By lying would not benefit her or her son

  9. Sounds like some writer just wanted click-bait….

  10. Another opinion shared as fact. If he is guilty then prosecute him. I hate this kangaroo court of social media.

  11. Austin Bloomberg

    I wasn’t going to respond given the nature of many responses, but I’ll do so briefly:

    1: Innocent until proven guilty matters in a court of law, not regarding employer/employee relationships.
    2: The overwhelming majority of abuse accusations are true. It’s a sad state people are so quick to judge victims and prop up abusers.
    3: Demeaning women by calling me a “bitch” or saying I sound like a woman epitomizes the toxic masculinity that plague some our culture.
    4: This was an article written thoughtfully and carefully. If you think I write for clicks you neither know the tenets of this website nor have you read my previous work.

    • Austin Bloomberg

      *plagues our culture

    • Well here is what you failed to mention, Mr. Journalistic Integrity. You do not have any facts on your side. You are defaming a man’s entire reputation based on something you saw on the internet. So are you saying that if I allege, you have sexually assaulted me by sending me pictures of your Male member and decide to write an internet blog about it, then I am entitled to do so. Even though I have no proof whatsoever. But hey you are allegedly doing it, so then the loop should fire you and lock the door and throw away the key.

  12. You are jumping the gun. I don’t know your motive or sex nor do I care. Good you are against violence and abuse. Sad you are are writer so quick to convict. Divorce brings out the worst in people. Let’s get full story and then decide.

  13. I think we should wait and see how it plays out. If he did abuse her then yes, get rid of him. One thing to keep in mind is that not all accusations are true. I myself was accused by my ex-wife. I was even arrested. It never happened and the charges were dropped after that was proven. Let’s keep an open mind and wait to see what happens.

  14. Jesse Loven

    This is clearly one of the most serious and important issues of our time and is present in every workplace and social level to some extent. All of the major sports have to find a fair and consistent balance of dealing with this that remains based on the presumption of innocence while respecting the rights of the accuser. In Russell’s case MLB needs to make a thorough investigation and then determination as to what his status will be going forward, in coordination if appropriate with other legal authorities. In all instances the occupations of both the accused and the accuser (s) are irrelevant until the truth is reached.

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