Cubs shortstop Addison Russell spoke to the media at spring training on Friday to address his suspension for violating Major League Baseball's domestic violence policy.
"I've had time to reflect and through counseling I have a better understanding of what domestic abuse really is and I am committed to my work right now," Russell said. "That's my main focus and already I see the benefits that come with that with my family and with my children."
The league handed Russell a 40-game suspension in October following investigations of domestic abuse against his ex-wife, Melisa Reidy. In September, Reidy released a blog post detailing a history of emotional and physical abuse. Russell will miss the first month of the upcoming season for accepting his suspension in October.
The Cubs tendered a non-guaranteed contract to Russell on Nov. 30, which kept him from becoming a free agent. Russell released a statement the same day saying he was "responsible" for his actions and had complied with his with his MLB-MLBPA treatment plan. He also said he began meeting with a therapist before any mandated treatment was required.
Even though the Cubs tendered Russell, it doesn't mean he will play next for the club next year.
On Friday, Russell said his teammates have shown him "nothing but support" during the process. He also offered an apology to Reidy for "the pain" he has put her through.
"I want to own those actions. I am sorry for the hurt that I have caused Melisa and the pain that I put her through. I am trying my best efforts to become a better person."