For the first time in its history, Major League Baseball has suspended a player for domestic violence. On Tuesday, the league announced that newly minted New York Yankee Aroldis Chapman will be forced to sit out 30 games of the 2016 season, as penalty for an October 2015 domestic violence incident in which he allegedly pushed and choked his girlfriend before firing a series of gunshots.
“[After a comprehensive investigation], I found Mr. Chapman’s acknowledged conduct on that day to be inappropriate under the negotiated Policy, particularly his use of a firearm and the impact of that behavior on his partner,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a written statement Tuesday afternoon.
“I am gratified that Mr. Chapman has taken responsibility for his conduct, that he has agreed not to appeal the 30-game suspension, and that he has agreed to comply with the confidential directives of the Joint Policy Board established under the parties’ Policy to ensure that a similar incident does not occur in the future.”
As news broke of Manfred’s ruling, Chapman released his own remarks, explaining that while he “did not in any way harm” his girlfriend, he has decided not to appeal MLB’s decision for the sake of his loved ones and the Yankees’ franchise.
Of course, Manfred’s decision to bench Chapman for roughly a fifth of the season will draw comparisons to the NFL’s recent fumbling of a series of high profile domestic violence cases. The MLB told The Huffington Post back in November that it had brought onboard an expert to help educate and advise players, teams and the league itself on how to best handle these delicate, all-important cases, in an effort to avoid such an outcome.
Per the New York Post, Chapman will “lose about $1.7 million in salary for the games missed.”
Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.