Cubs' Addison Russell addresses domestic abuse suspension, says he's accountable for his past actions

Cubs shortstop Addison Russell is presently serving a 40-game suspension under MLB's Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy. The suspension stemmed from allegations on the part of Russell's ex-wife, Melisa Reidy -- allegations of physical and emotional abuse detailed by Reidy in her personal blog -- and MLB's subsequent investigation. After Russell was suspended, Reidy told more of her story in an interview with Expanded Roster

To the surprise of some observers, the Cubs tendered a non-guaranteed contract to Russell for the 2019 season. On Friday, Russell at spring training in Arizona addressed the media for the first time since his suspension. Via Bob Nightengale of USA Today, here are some of Russell's remarks: 

"I'm accountable for my past actions. I do want to own this issue of the hurt and pain I have caused Melisa.

"I'm truly sorry.''

...

"I had time to reflect, through counseling,'' Russell said. "I have a better understanding what domestic abuse really is.

"I truly believe that I'm not proud of the person I once was, but through counseling, I'm able to identify my feelings a lot better. I believe that person is in the past. …

"I'm committed to my work right now, and already I'm seeing the benefits that come with that, to my family and my children."

...

"I've learned to better identify my feelings and emotions,'' he said. "I've learned better to handle adversity, and creating better, healthy relationships.''

Some additional context from Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic: 

Russell is eligible to play in spring training games, but per the terms of his suspension he's not eligible for regular-season play until May 3. Until then, the Cubs will likely use Javier Baez at shortstop and Ben Zobrist at second base.

CBS Sports Writer

Dayn Perry has been a baseball writer for CBS Sports since early 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for FOXSports.com and ESPN.com. He's the author of three books, the most recent being Reggie Jackson: The... Full Bio

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