The Braves outfielder was arrested final Might.
VENICE, Fla. — Atlanta Braves outfielder Marcell Ozuna addressed his teammates Monday throughout spring coaching and apologized to followers for an arrest final 12 months on prices of aggravated assault by strangulation and battery after law enforcement officials mentioned they witnessed him attacking his spouse.
Ozuna returned to the workforce this week for the primary time since his Might 29 arrest. He was positioned on administrative go away throughout Major League Baseball’s investigation and missed Atlanta’s World Collection championship run final fall.
MLB suspended the 31-year-old retroactively for 20 games underneath its home violence coverage in November, permitting him to return for the beginning of the 2022 season.
“Yeah, I talked to my workforce,” Ozuna mentioned Monday, the primary day of full-squad spring coaching exercises. “I spoke to my workforce and mentioned, ‘I’m sorry, I made a mistake.’”
Ozuna was welcomed by teammates within the clubhouse Monday, and a number of other Latino gamers gathered round his locker earlier than apply started, identical to previous instances.
“It’s good to have him again,” teammate Ronald Acuña Jr. mentioned by way of an interpreter. “You understand, he’s a such a very good ballplayer. You understand, on and off the sector and, , the issues that occurred off the sector, these are challenges for everybody. Sure issues that occur off the sector, they will occur to anybody.”
Police physique cam footage obtained by TMZ Sports activities two days after MLB introduced its suspension appeared to point out Ozuna grabbing his spouse’s neck as officers arrived at their Georiga dwelling. The Sandy Springs Police Division mentioned in a press release in Might that it additionally noticed Ozuna throwing her in opposition to a wall and hanging her with the forged on his injured left hand.
Ozuna mentioned he has accomplished the necessities of a pretrial diversion program, a condition provided by the Fulton County District Attorney’s office with a purpose to have prices dropped. This system included 3-6 months of supervision. Ozuna additionally was ordered to finish a 24-week household violence intervention program, at the least 200 hours of neighborhood service and an anger administration course.
“I discovered the whole lot,” he mentioned of counseling. “I discovered the way you deal with an individual, the way you be a greater individual, the way you be the perfect daddy, the way you be a human being. You study the whole lot from that.”
Ozuna mentioned he’s now “on the identical web page” together with his household. He mentioned he did not assume he had ever spent alone time together with his three youngsters previous to final summer time and has been taking them to the playground and toy shops.
“I give time to my children, that’s an important factor,” he mentioned. “Household first. That’s what I fear about proper now, my household after which coming right here, working laborious, being trustworthy with my teammates. That’s an important factor.”
Ozuna mentioned he hoped the general public might forgive him.
“My followers, I’m going to provide the finest and I’m going to be a greater individual, and I’m sorry,” he mentioned.
Ozuna was requested particularly what he would say to followers who’re additionally victims of home violence.
“I simply inform them, simply deal with me as the person who I used to be earlier than,” he mentioned. “Like, I used to be a tremendous individual out within the subject. So I wish to be like that. I’m going to offer you my smile. In the event that they assume it’s not time to offer me like good crowd, it’s OK.”
Ozuna’s ban price him $1.55 million of his $12 million wage final season. He’s coming into the second 12 months of a $65 million, four-year contract with the Braves.