I want to keep editorializing and hot taking to a minimum with subject matter like this. Today Sports Illustrated published an article exploring ex-Mariner Milton Bradley's history of domestic abuse of his wife, Monique in very graphic detail. It is a million times more important than how we pronounce words. It's also horrible, awful and painful to read. A few snippets:
Victim said her husband grabbed her right hand and pushed her hand against her mouth, causing her to hit herself.... Victim said her husband grabbed her cellphone from a bedroom table and threw it towards the wall. Victim said her cellphone broke into several parts.... Victim said she followed him into the hallway. Victim said her husband turned around and used his right forearm and pushed her against the wall. Victim stated his forearm was against her throat and she was having a difficult time breathing.... Victim said her husband went around the house and picked up all the cellphones, house phones, her car keys and credit cards and left
Milton stated to me that he was going to lunch with Ken Griffey Jr. I [joked] ... that maybe he could pick him up in his new overpriced car [a Rolls-Royce Phantom]. Milton ... became furious with me.... He yelled that he hated me, that I made him sick and that he wanted me to leave. He got very close to my face in a menacing manner [Milton outweighed Monique by about 100 pounds].... He then grabbed my laptop computer and smashed it on the floor.... He then grabbed my cellular phone and left. I was extremely frightened by his anger and was shaking.... The police met me at our residence.... That night I checked into a hotel with our children.... I believe that Milton's constant tirades, his anger and his unreasonableness are causing emotional harm to our young children.... I am afraid that Milton will actually take my life.... [He] has threatened to kill me before he lets me leave him with his money.... Milton makes these comments to me in front of our minor children.... Usually after he yells at me or calls me names he will send me a message that he is sorry, that he needs me and he will ask me not to leave. I have always forgiven him in the past.... Living under this pressure is causing me to have a great deal of stress and anxiety.
There is more, a lot more. It is a very difficult read but one I would encourage you to work through.
All I can think about is the times I rooted for Milton Bradley. The shame I feel for twisting my mind to accept him, to pull for his success, to paint him as a tragic character. I remember when he left the stadium after being benched. I remember the empathy I felt when he asked the team very publicly for assistance with his personal issues.
I have no idea what the Mariners knew or didn't know about how Bradley was treating his wife while he was a Mariner. I certainly hope they didn't know and if they didn't it wasn't by very intentionally not looking for trouble. But that is behind us. Tragically it's too late for Monique Bradley. Many pieces of a very flawed system failed a woman over a very long stretch of time and now she's gone. It is as common a story as it is infuriating.
What we can do, what I can do, is watch going forward. It is up to us to hold the Mariners and other institutional entities accountable and to make it clear we will not tolerate domestic abuse. Winning is not the only thing that matters. Monique Bradley mattered more than any baseball game ever played. She mattered more than all of them put together.
The Mariners' Refuse to Abuse program is holding its annual Refuse to Abuse 5k at Safeco on July 18. I encourage you to sign up and/or to seek out a battered women's shelter to volunteer time/funding for.