Cubs fans are rallying together in an effort to try to make Addison Russell "go away."
Jeff Falk and other "Fans of Cubs Twitter" started a GoFundMe Wednesday in an effort to convince the Cubs to "do the right thing" and release the embattled shortstop, who was tendered a contract in November but will miss the first month of the season to suspension for domestic abuse.
They created a Twitter account @releaserussell this week to increase awareness and in the first Tweet Wednesday night said The Addison Russell Pink Slip Fund is "a campaign created by a group of Cubs fans who are heartbroken at the idea of seeing this abusive monster in a Cubs uniform in the 2019 season."
The goal of the fundraiser is to get to $4.3 million, which is Russell's projected salary for 2019 in his second year of arbitration. All proceeds will be donated to the Domestic Violence Legal Clinic of Chicago.
No more excuses, no more apologizes. It's time to #ReleaseRussell. The Addison Russell Pink Slip Fund is a campaign created by a group of Cubs fans who are heartbroken at the idea of seeing this abusive monster in a Cubs uniform in the 2019 season. https://t.co/Ak36B0cBeG— Pink Slip Fund! (@releaserussell) January 10, 2019
We have decided to raise his entire projected salary ($4.3 million dollars) to be donated to @DVLCChicago, as a gesture that we hope inspires the Cubs to find some compassion in themselves and release Addison Russell from the team. Time's up, @Cubs. We've got his pink slip ready.— Pink Slip Fund! (@releaserussell) January 10, 2019
Apart from a pair of statements in press releases, Russell has yet to speak publicly since his dismissal from the team Sept. 21 when a blog post written by his ex-wife, Melisa Reidy, detailed the disturbing mental, emotional and physical abuse throughout their relationship. Reidy also spoke with Kelly Wallace of Expanded Roster in December to provide further context.
The Cubs have to exchange arbitration figures with Russell's camp by Friday and historically, Theo Epstein's front office is able to reach deals before the deadline and avoid arbitration hearings.
To Tom Ricketts, Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, and any other parties this may concern,
We would like to pay Addison Russell to go away.
We offer you his entire projected salary in 2019, to be donated to the Domestic Violence Legal Clinic of Chicago, in hopes that you will release him from your roster. We’ve read in the press that you’re barely scraping by. While we, like most Americans, can’t imagine what it's like to be wealthy and powerful beyond all measure, we’ve come together to scrape our pockets and dig into our couch cushions in hopes that one or preferably all of you decide to find a soul.
“You go talk to their girlfriend, you go talk to their ex girlfriends…” - said our brave leader, Theodorus Nathaniel Epstein, on 60 Minutes. He promised us that times would change. We were told that character counts. And we’ve already been asked to forgive a lot on that score. We haven’t forgotten Aroldis Chapman.
Now you’ve been presented with a man who has choked his wife in front of his children, who has been delinquent in his child support, who has mentally and physically abused his wife for years, and who has been suspended by Major League Baseball after accepting responsibility for his actions. It’s long past time to do the right thing.
Release him. He does not deserve the honor of having this position. He is not entitled to a job as a major league baseball player. He is a repeat offender, a danger to any woman around him, and it would spit in the face of every fan of this team to tell us that you respect us so little, that you don’t mind demanding that we clap our hands for a man who has used his to do much, much worse.
As always, all the power rests in your hands, all we can do is wait, and wish, and hope that we’re fans of human beings with souls, and not spineless jellyfish, clinging desperately to a cruel man who would cause millions of us trauma and pain to see in a Cubs uniform again. It’s time for you to give Addison Russell the pink slip.
The Fans of Cubs Twitter
They had raised $665 of their $4.3 million goal in the first 12 hours with donations from 21 people.