Wichitan Derek Norris, a catcher for the Tampa Bay Rays, has denied allegations of physical and emotional abuse made on social media by his former fiancee, who’s also from Wichita.
Major League Baseball said it was investigating the allegations, made by Kristen Eck in an Instagram post that did not name Norris specifically. Eck had in the past been known to be Norris’ finacee and 2015 voter registration records show they had been living at the same Wichita address.
Norris’ agent sent a statement from Norris to the Tampa Bay Times on Tuesday night.
“First, I want to be absolutely clear that abuse of any form, is completely unacceptable,” the statement said. “Allegations regarding this issue are a very serious matter and should not be taken lightly under any circumstances. That being said, in this circumstance, the comments made by my ex-fiancee could not be further from the truth. I have NEVER been physically or emotionally abusive towards her, or anyone else in my life. I plan to go above and beyond to assist MLB with their investigation into this matter.”
On Monday, Eck wrote she was engaged to Norris three years ago and left him a year ago. She said she was left with $300, no access to a car and only able to remove her belongings from their home.
“I had beautiful moments with a man and I fell in love with a sense of humor and authentic soul that I wanted to spend my life with,” she wrote. “I also was physically and emotionally abused by this beautiful man.”
Eck’s post did not go into detail about the alleged abuse.
The Rays, in a statement, said they support baseball’s domestic violence policy. “We take these allegations very seriously and will fully cooperate with the Commissioner’s Office on this matter.”
Norris, 28, is in his first season with Tampa Bay after five previous major-league seasons with Oakland and San Diego. He was a fourth-round pick by Washington in 2007 out of Goddard High.