Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman is set to return on Monday from a 30-game suspension handed down from Major League Baseball. Chapman was disciplined under MLB’s domestic violence policy for an offseason incident in which he allegedly pushed and choked his girlfriend, then fired off a gun in his garage at least eight times.
Even after sitting out the first five weeks of the 2016 regular season, Chapman doesn’t sound apologetic, according to Billy Witz of the New York Times. He maintains his innocence, saying, “We make a lot of money, everyone wants a piece of it, and we end up looking bad. When I had the problem, everyone thinks I did something wrong; in social media, people are saying I hit my girlfriend.”
Chapman continued, “It was just an argument with your partner that everyone has. I’ve even argued with my mother. When you are not in agreement with someone, we Latin people are loud when we argue.”
As the Times describes, however, Chapman’s girlfriend called 911 while hiding in the bushes out of fear. That sounds like the altercation escalated far beyond “loud”.
Prosecutors declined to file charges in part because Chapman’s girlfriend was uncooperative. It is not unheard of for victims of domestic violence to be uncooperative because they fear further potentially physical repercussions from their partners, or for myriad other reasons.
Chapman also implied that Latin players are targets because they make money and aren’t familiar with how things work in the U.S. He can absolutely be right about that without it, in any way, excusing what he allegedly did during the offseason.