How Has The MLB Dealt With Domestic Violence?
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How Has The MLB Dealt With Domestic Violence?

Major League Baseball has a domestic violence issue. Let's see how they've handled it.

How Has The MLB Dealt With Domestic Violence?

Of the four major sports leagues, the MLB does a fairly good job of keeping itself out of the negative spotlight. Over the course of the last few years, domestic violence has become a major issue for the NFL, and as of recently, the MLB as well. Up to this point, Commissioner Rob Manfred has handled the situation correctly, but it's interesting to see how we got to this point.

The issue rose to the forefront in August 2015, when the MLB and the MLB Players Association agreed on a new set of policies regarding domestic violence. This was a major step by the sport in getting out in front of any potential issues. With the press focused on Greg Hardy and Ray Rice, and the NFL’s inaction, it was a good move by commissioner Rob Manfred and Tony Clark, the MLBPA leader, to make positive strides in regards to the issue of Domestic Violence. The agreement includes essentially four sectors: Treatment and Intervention, Investigations, Discipline and finally; Training, Education and Resources. Players and their families will be educated about domestic violence, with both sides being given a 24-hour number to call in case of emergency. The league will also conduct their own investigation into events, with Rob Manfred getting the power to punish players however he see fit (no minimum or maximum punishment was decided). When the news of this agreement came out, the league got a lot of positive press. This was until the beginning of the off season when three events led to questions regarding how the league will respond.

This past Halloween, Colorado Rockies shortstop, Jose Reyes, was arrested in Maui for domestic violence. Reyes and his wife were involved in an argument at a Four Seasons Hotel, resulting in the hotel’s security staff getting involved. Reyes was arrested, and later released on $1,000 bail. The extent of his initial punishment was not being allowed to have contact with his wife or children for three days. The league responded by begging an investigation into the events. As of today, the league has not punished Reyes, leading to questions surrounding how stiff the leagues punishments will be regarding domestic violence. The questions only continued to swirl when star closer, Aroldis Chapman was revealed to have been involved in a domestic dispute of his own.

The Chapman incident occurred a day earlier than the Reyes incident, but was revealed to the rest of the league and public in mid-December when a trade involving Chapman going to the Dodgers was scrapped when the Los Angeles team was notified of the domestic dispute. Chapman allegedly got into a physical confrontation with his girlfriend after she discovered something she didn’t like on his phone. The result of the initial fight led to his girlfriend calling the police, and Chapman shooting a handgun eight times, seven of which went into a concrete wall inside his garage and the eighth of which went through a window into an open field (it’s important to note that Chapman was not in the same room as his girlfriend when the shots went off. She was hiding outside). The events surrounding the incident are heavily in question. Chapman claimed that he never “hurt” his girlfriend, and that he poked her with his finger and she tripped on a chair. The girlfriend’s brother entered the room and saw his sister on the ground and things escalated. The police did not charge Chapman with anything due to a lack of evidence as well as a lack of cooperation by all parties. The MLB still has the power to suspend Chapman, but nothing has been announced as of yet.

The least notable event that the MLB is dealing with involves Dodgers player, Yasiel Puig. The young outfielder allegedly got into a heated conversation with his sister at a club that resulted in pushing. Later in the evening, Puig was kicked out of the club and got into a physical confrontation with the club’s bouncer. Major League Baseball began an investigation into the incident, but nothing has come out of it as of yet.

Rob Manfred has yet to do anything about the three incidents occurring in the 2015 MLB off season. While this is a bit concerning, it doesn’t mean he won’t do anything, in fact, as recently as late January Manfred claimed that all three cases were being dealt with, and he hoped that punishments would be handed out before the start of Spring Training (late February). It’s not a leap to say that this is a defining moment in Manfred’s reign as commissioner. The commissioner must distance himself from Roger Goodell’s inaction, and take a stand against the players involved in these incidents.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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