Addison Russell has been placed on administrative leave by Major League Baseball pending the completion of an investigation into the domestic abuse allegations of his ex-wife Melisa Reidy.
On September 19 Reidy published a detailed account of the abuse she suffered while she was married to Russell. While these allegations had been made publicly shortly after the couple separated last year, Melisa had not previously published her account.
MLB explained their decision in the following statement:
“Major League Baseball takes all allegations of Domestic Violence seriously. When the allegations against Addison Russell became public on June 7, 2017, the Commissioner’s Office’s Department of Investigations immediately commenced an investigation. Melisa Russell declined to participate in the investigation at that time. Our investigation of this matter has remained open and we have continued our efforts to gather information.
“With the new details revealed in today’s blog post by Ms. Russell, Mr. Russell has been placed on Administrative Leave in accordance with the Joint MLB-MLBPA Domestic Violence Policy. We are hopeful that this new information will allow us to complete the investigation as promptly as possible.”
The Chicago Cubs issued a brief statement supporting this action by MLB:
“We take allegations of domestic violence seriously and support the League’s decision to place Addison Russell on administrative leave given new details revealed today. We will continue to cooperate with the League’s investigation so the appropriate action can be taken.”
670 The Score is reporting that in addition to the Cubs’ public statement, the club is “giving serious consideration to Russell’s future with the team.”
Administrative leave can last as long as fourteen days, including the date of notification as you can see in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (bold mine):
Investigation of Incidents.
A. Process. The procedures set forth in this Policy shall be triggered when the Commissioner’s Office provides the Players Association with written notification that it is investigating an allegation that a Player has engaged in a Covered Act (“Notification”). Unless otherwise expressly stated, the Basic Agreement remains in effect and its relevant provisions apply under this Policy.
B. Administrative Leave. Under the Basic Agreement, the Commissioner may immediately place a Player accused of a Covered Act on Administrative Leave, effective as early as the date of the Notification, and may keep the Player on Administrative Leave for up to seven (7) days, including the date of Notification, subject to the Player’s right to challenge that decision set forth below. The Commissioner’s Office may ask the Players Association to consent to a one-time extension of the initial seven-day Administrative Leave period for an additional seven (7) days (for a total of fourteen (14) days), which consent shall not be unreasonably withheld. Alternatively, the Commissioner’s Office may defer placing the Player on Administrative Leave until the Player is either charged with a crime by law enforcement, or the Commissioner’s Office receives credible information corroborating the allegations. The Commissioner’s placement of a Player on Administrative Leave shall not be considered disciplinary under this Policy.