Popular Canadian Sportswriter Arrested For Assaulting Wife And Threatening Her Life

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Who Is Jonah Keri? New Details On The Baseball Writer Arrested For Assaulting Wife

The sports world has come under criticism in the past and will come under criticism in the future over how they respond when one of their prized professional athletes is caught up in allegations of domestic violence. Very often, we turn towards trusted sportswriters to help us process these complicated and terrible charges which begs the question, where do we go when it comes to domestic violence charges leveled at the sportswriters themselves? 

That's the question people are now asking with Canadian sportswriter Jonah Keri was arrested last week on some truly henious charges. Jonah Keri was arrested for assaulting his own wife and allegedly threatening her life. Here's everything we know so far about the charges, about the fan reactions, and about the man behind the news story. Who is Jonah Keri?

1. The News

On July 18th, popular baseball writer and sports reporter Jonah Keri was arrested for assaulting his wife, according to CTV News Montreal. According to the documents filed regarding the case, Keri faces up to three counts of assault causing bodily harm and one count of "uttering death threats". He was granted bail when he made a court appearance on the morning of July 19th, but while he's not going to be waiting on his time in jail, the next span of time isn't going to be kind to the writer. Nor should it be with allegations this serious and made against him by his own wife. Let's try and break down what we know about Keri and the charges to try and wrap our heads around this, shall we? 

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2. The Fallout 

Regardless of the outcome, the charges made against Keri are already having a serious impact on his life as he knows it. As part of the conditions of his bail set by the court, Keri can't come within 250 meters of his wife or their child. What's more, he was also barred from carrying any weapons. The judge also gave him just 10 days to make sure he got all of his belongings out of the house he once shared with his own family. According to the courts, the assaults are alleged to have taken place in July 2018, May 2019, and July 2019, and his workplace is taking them seriously too. Keri's podcast and working relationship with The Athletic has been severed due to the publisher's zero-tolerance policy on domestic violence. 

3. His Bio

For those of you not in the loop when it comes to sports reporting, let's talk a little bit about Keri's career and contextualize him so you understand why this arrest and these charges are a big deal. He's the most well-known for the book he wrote about the Montreal Expos, Up Up and Away. Keri has been a prolific and diverse writer who has reported for the likes of ESPN.com, Sports Illustrated, Fangraphs and CBS Sports to name but a few. Prior to these allegations being made against him and his arrest, he was working at The Athletic, where he reported and hosted his own podcast, called The Opener.

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4. Domestic Violence

What makes Keri's arrest particularly heinous is the hypocrisy behind it when it comes to his public opinions about domestic violence. When the MLB suspended Yankees pitcher Aroldis Chapman for 30 days back in 2016, he said that it was a "good start," and didn't stop there. “It still bothers me that if you smoke a joint, you’re still going to potentially miss more games than if you beat your girlfriend. That is really something that MLB needs to address," he said. That's not the only time he's weighed in on athletes and charges of domestic violence either. In 2016 when Mets shortstop Jose Reyes was suspended for more than 50 days for allegedly choking and shoving his wife, he came down hard on the man. Creepy how the tables have now turned! 

5. Lawyer Speaks

The Canadian born reporter won't be back in the courtroom until November 10th, but when he does appear he already has a lawyer who has been making statements about the crimes. According to his lawyer, Louis Morena, Keri and his wife were in the midst of a struggling marriage and Keri, upon discovering that the union was in true peril, became emotional. According to Morena, a situation like that one can cause a person to make death threats "in a moment of anger when you're seeing your family go down the drain." Emotions notwithstanding, to be human being coexisting in civil society, we are responsible for our own reactions and when our reactions are dangerous and scary and illegal, we should be held accountable for them too. 

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6. Going Underground

Keri is already preparing for the firestorm to come by deleting his personal website and his Twitter account and personal website. He hasn't completely burned his online presence, you can still find him on LinkedIn and Facebook, but it's difficult to say how much longer that will be the case. When a person is arrested and facing charges like this, they have to know that the fans and critics alike aren't going to be kind or accept some trite explanation about their bad behavior. It makes sense that he would try to protect himself by retreating from the public eye. Let's see how much longer he can keep that up. 

Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cats, Batman and Margot. She's an experienced generalist with a passion for lifestyle, geek news, pop culture, and true crime.