LakersGate: Who’s the Real Victim?

It’s never a dull moment with the Lake Show.

I’m sure you all have heard what is going on with the Los Angeles Lakers. One of the Lakers star rookies, D’Angelo Russell, recorded his teammate, Nick Young (or Swaggy P), bragging about how he cheated on his fiance, Iggy Azalea, with a 19-year-old girl. Russell broke a rule in the Bro Code: you don’t snitch on a bro. As punishment, the media is going nuts. Russell was, at one point, isolated by his own teammates during practice and meals, booed by his own fans at home court, and his teammates didn’t even pass him the ball during a game. Russell, who is only 20 years old, made a stupid mistake that has hurt his relationship with his team. A team is supposed to be a single unit trying to accomplish one single goal. In this case, it’s to win an NBA championship. However, Russell destroyed that trust with his team by recording a personal conversation. He may never be a Laker again or part of another team with his credibility tarnished.

Now, let’s take a step back and ask, Who is the real the victim? Was it Young, who had a personal conversation leaked out to the public, or was it Russell, who had his relationship with his teammates decimated?

I don’t think either of the two are the real victims, but rather Young’s fiance, Iggy. She was the one who had to find out about her fiance cheating through the media. The media is having a field day with the two NBA players, but barely acknowledges how Iggy may feel or how she’s going to move on. Imagine finding out your fiance cheated on you with someone younger than you through Twitter. Not very pleasant, right? Russell has publicly apologized and Young and the team said they forgave the kid, but the media hasn’t even moved on from the matter. Instead, they are focusing on how Nick Young wasn’t present during the press conference. Essentially, the media and the people are fixated on Russell breaking of the Bro Code and the fans are responding with boos. I joke about how the Bro Code trumps every law but the Bible…but are we really taking this seriously? Are we, as a society, not going to cast a single “boo” to the individual who actually raised a moral and ethical dilemma?

Have we, as a whole, become so tolerant of every sexualized material presented to us in mainstream media and consider it as a standard? Well, I guess the answer is, “Yes.” Here are some examples. Society has accepted Beyonce as a good role model. She’s the kind of performer that would have lyrics like “I kiss you and you lick your lips/ You like it wet and so do I/ I know you never waste a drip/ I wonder how it feels sometimes” and “Don’t slip off when it drip off on top of you.” [Editor’s note: Gross.] Maybe I’m not a woman or a little girl, but how is this related to any sense of the word “empowering?” Another example is society (and a lot of my peers) accepting what is proper attire for raves for women; sheer tops with stickers on nipples. Thirdly, a female host on ESPN tried to express her views on how we haven’t truly stressed Young cheating on Iggy, but her two male colleagues retorted that she didn’t have a true understanding of the situation.

With society’s moral compass in the gutter, where do we draw the line at what’s sexually acceptable or even morally? A couple of years ago, a close friend of mine and I were discussing whether affairs should be treated as a crime. My friend [Editor’s note: that’s me!] responded to this idea saying that society would judge and regulate itself on matters of adultery and affairs. However, given the situation at hand, society seems to defend the ones committing the act.

With how society is presenting itself, I can’t wait to have my own daughter.

So take a step back and look at the situation.We need a reality check of where our priorities lie. Is Young using Russell as a scapegoat? You may not like her as a rapper, but is Iggy the real victim? Has society as a whole become too calloused or accepting?

As a society,  we need to define what our standards are and hold firm to it. It may sound prudish to draw a line at what is sexually OK and what isn’t, but if we don’t have a bare minimum creed of what is unacceptable then everything will eventually become permissible.





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