The Yankees signing Aroldis Chapman last offseason has been a controversial topic to say the least. Especially after he was in the middle of a domestic violence investigation prior to his first season in pinstripes.
While there wasn’t enough to charge Chapman with domestic violence, Major League Baseball found enough sufficient evidence to suspend Chapman for 30 games at the beginning of the 2016 season. Chapman did his time and returned to the Yankees in May, but there was still a dark cloud hanging over.
The Yankees temporarily parted ways with Chapman at the trade deadline when they acquired Gleyber Torres from the Chicago Cubs. However, the Yankees re-signed Chapman to a five-year, $85 Million deal prior to the 2017 season. Fans reaction was mixed, ranging from excited to skeptical.
But two weeks before Spring Training was slated to begin, Hal Steinbrenner caused a bit of controversy when he said fans were happy Chapman was back, and they were willing to forget he ever committed domestic violence.
“He was great. Look, he admitted he messed up. He paid the penalty. Sooner or later, we forget, right? That’s the way we’re supposed to be in life. He did everything right, and said everything right, when he was with us.’’
Now see, this is where I have a problem with what Steinbrenner said. Yes, Chapman was neither arrested or charged with domestic violence. But when Major League Baseball conducted a thorough investigation, they found enough sufficient evidence to suspend Chapman under the new domestic violence policy.
Whether Chapman put hands on his girlfriend is debatable. However, the report says shots were fired, which was why the police responded to the call. A gun was retrieved and according to the police report, Chapman’s girlfriend was fearfully “hiding in the bushes” before police arrived.
In situations such as these, you never “forget”. If anything, you’re fearful and traumatized. You subconsciously relive that scenario and it never leaves you.
I have more of an issue with Steinbrenner’s comments than I do with Chapman at this point. Victims of domestic violence, or even violence for that matter replay the night of violence. It’s almost as if it’s ingrained and no matter how hard they try to run away from the scenario, they can’t. Instead, domestic violence victims develop strength and use that newfound courage to move on with their life.
The scenario could have played out differently if Steinbrenner said fans could eventually “forgive” Chapman. But he didn’t. He wants fans to forget what Chapman did..
Word of advice, Mr. Steinbrenner: domestic violence victims never forget.
Especially when they lived through a terrible situation that will forever become a part of their life.