Well this is an incredibly troubling story developing with Addison Russell. Russell’s wife Melisa posted on Instagram and twitter indicating that the couple was splitting up and basically Addison is a cheating, lying scumbag (the posts have since been deleted).
Unfortunately, cheating is a common thing for professional athletes,. When you have fame and fortune I would imagine your sense of reality gets skewed in a way that makes you feel like you can get away with anything which allows instances like this to happen far more than it should. While I obviously condemn the actions Melisa has accused Addison of, that is not where the real problem lies. The serious issues stem from comments made by a reportedly close friend to Melisa.
By all accounts, this does not look good. Physical abuse is nothing to take lightly, and this should be investigated to the fullest extent. Abusing your spouse, or any woman for that matter is absolutely unacceptable and it should not be tolerated. Disgustingly enough, spousal abuse happens somewhat commonly in pro sports. A domestic abuse charge is not a career-ender in most cases, but players need to carry around that baggage for the rest of their playing days and the rest of their lives. For example, the Cubs traded for Aroldis Chapman last summer to help them win a World Series. Chapman had the baggage of a domestic abuse allegation against him (was never charged), and some fans were pissed that they even traded for him. As a strictly baseball move, it helped them win a World Series, as a public perception move it cast a dark cloud over a young, fun and exciting Cubs team that went on to make history. The difference between Russell and Chapman is that Russell is supposed to be a cornerstone of the franchise for years to come, Chapman was just a hired gun for half a season.
Just like any allegations, I think we should all let this play out with due process before we make any permanent judgement, but even I agree this looks really bad. Instagram posts and comments are far from proof, but I don’t see any reason why the mother of his child would lie about something like this. Again, the comments made Melisa’s friend are the real problem and those are far from reputable at this point in time. If it comes out that these allegations are true, I fully support the idea of trading Russell at the first reasonable opportunity. His value is obviously going to plummet for a while but should eventually return to a point that would allow them to get a respectable return once the dust settles. The Cubs have Javy who can play SS full-time and he’s arguably better than Russell. Addi is still young and still projects to be a very good hitter and he is already a great fielder. He is still progressing as a player, if these allegations turn out to be true I hope he can progress as a human being as well.