Addison Russell has had a bad year. His production on the field is way down and the Chicago Cubs shortstop was suspended 40 games for violating MLB’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy. He was, quite obviously, not the victim in the alleged ugly incident involving his ex-wife. The punishment was a result of his actions, not actions that were done to him
So it’s clear why people are upset with the comments made by Cincinnati Reds announcer Thom Brennaman on Sunday, in which he said Russell had to “suffer” through the suspension.
Here's the video of Thom Brennaman and Jeff Brantley talking about Addison Russell, the suspension he had to "suffer" through and "a lot of other things" around him.
These incidents happen when the broadcast team wants to bring something up without really bringing it up. It’s almost as if a desire to not say anything controversial in turn creates a controversial turn of phrase.
And you don’t have to be deeply offended to wonder how this keeps happening and how little seems to be learned by the last incident. The bending over backward to see the world solely through the eyes of an athlete is not only weird, it’s unnatural.
Who, in common conversation, would say Russell “suffered” through a suspension? I’d wager most people would just mete out that fact without trying to turn the shortstop into a sympathetic figure — especially when in possession with the particulars of his behavior.
Anyway, this isn’t the first or second time something like this has happened and it won’t be the last. The learning curve is pretty steep and it’ll take much repetition to hammer best practices home.