(Content warning: abuse, domestic abuse, domestic violence)
On Wednesday, Melisa Reidy posted on her WordPress blog an account of Addison Russell’s abuse during their marriage. This follows her initial Instagram post from June 2017, accusing Russell of cheating on her and lying to her. On that post, since deleted, Reidy’s friend commented that Russell had abused Reidy. A subsequent MLB investigation was opened and quietly closed, with no consequences for the Cubs shortstop. At the time, Reidy indicated to the press, through her attorney, that she would not be speaking with MLB’s investigators in the best interest of herself and her family. Shortly after the initial post, Reidy filed for divorce.
The post recounts Russell’s emotional, mental, and physical abuse—abuse that Russell sometimes carried out in front of the couple’s young son. Reidy distanced herself from friends and family as a result of Russell’s abuse, and hired her friend as a caretaker for their son due to depression and loss of focus. The details Reidy shares are not uncommon consequences, thoughts, and feelings for survivors of abuse to experience, and the dismissive attitude with which MLB, the Cubs, and fans received the initial accusation has been unfortunately characteristic of how abuse and domestic violence is viewed and responded to.
Whether or not Russell will face consequences as a result of Reidy’s account remains to be seen, although MLB and the Cubs organization’s track records suggest that Russell will remain with the club at least through the remainder of the regular season. It is important that the league and the team, should they respond, do so with a focus on Reidy’s safety and well-being, and choose a survivor-centered course of action.
Reidy’s post can be found here. Be advised that it contains descriptions of abuse.
Lead photo courtesy @Cubs on Twitter