Society shouldn’t ignore Nick Young’s cheating

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Society shouldn’t ignore Nick Young’s cheating

By Jessie Webster, Opinions columnist

Los Angeles Lakers star point guard D’Angelo Russell spent the past week in team and social media purgatory after he secretly filmed teammate Nick Young bragging about cheating on his fiancee, pop star Iggy Azalea.

Young apparently did not realize he was being filmed, and Russell claims he has no idea how the video, which was originally recorded on his Snapchat, ended up online for the world to see.

For many, Russell’s accidental exposure of Young’s personal life is just another hilarious blunder for a historically awful Lakers team, whose 61 losses this season are second only to the putrid Philadelphia 76ers for worst in the NBA.

And while there is something comical about watching Young caught so unaware and so easily for his own discretions, the outcry surrounding the scandal has been unfairly directed entirely toward Russell, rather than Young.

At the heart of what has made this story so compelling to the public is Russell’s violation of the sacred “bro code.”

In recent years, the bro code has emerged in the world of pop culture as a lifestyle some men follow, in which loyalty to male friends, among other things, is one of the most sacred aspects of being a man. In the eyes of many, Russell gravely violated the bro code when he helped make it public that Young cheated on Azalea. The punishment Russell received for his violation was swift and severe.

For hours after the video leaked, Russell’s name was trending on Twitter. Azalea even chimed in on the controversy, tweeting: “hmmm I see D’Angelo Russell is trending … I actually liked his film. Thanks bro.”

Never one to be outdone, sports broadcaster Stephen A. Smith commented on the situation on ESPN’s “First Take,” stating: “He’ll never be trusted ever again in the NBA. This will stay with him for the rest of his career.”

If you thought Smith might be talking about Young’s discretions, you’re wrong. In Smith’s and many others’ minds, Young’s philandering is no crime compared to Russell accidentally sharing Young’s secrets.

In recent years, professional sports such as basketball and football have made an effort to be more socially conscious about the impact that their players have in society.

Whether it be raising awareness about illnesses or serious crimes such as domestic violence, these professional sports organizations seem to have no problem holding players accountable — when it’s on their own terms.

The NBA would do well to issue a statement saying they do not condone Young’s actions, rather than letting fans and the media control the story.

It says something concerning about the state of both the media and the public when the person who brought Young’s cheating to light is suffering more ridicule than Young himself.

Jessie is a junior in Media.
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