About two weeks ago, sports news sites were going crazy after a video of D’Angelo Russell secretly videotaping Nick Young admitting he’s been cheating on his fiancé, Iggy Azalea was leaked (reportedly by a celeb gossip site, who posted the video on Twitter).
In the video (see below), Russell asks Young a series of questions about women he’s been involved with. When asked about Amber Rose, Nick Young responds by saying that Iggy Azalea and Amber Rose know each other (implying that he’s refrained from trying to have an affair with Amber Rose because he thinks she would inform Iggy Azalea of his actions).
A few days after the incident, at a home game, D’Angelo Russell was booed by Lakers fans during his introduction.
Early reports on the release of the video reported Russell had been isolated from the team after the leaking of the video, some of his teammates even going so far as to get up and walk away when Russell sat next to them in the locker room; however, Russell said, “Nah, I wouldn’t necessarily say that. There’s been a bad vibe, but we’re human. So everybody has two cents to say. We’ve just got to clear the air, I guess.”
Once the news hit the web, Twitter exploded with comments on the leaked video; most of them were aimed towards D’Angelo Russell, who many called a “snitch,” though a minority of tweets chose to focus on what I believe to be the true issue: Nick Young is a cheater.
Gilbert Arenas, a former NBA player and apparent misogynistic asshole (excuse my french), headed to Instagram to put in his two cents in a lengthy, profane caption. Here is an edited version of the text:
“We have a Barn burner LADIES and Gents..This ALL light skinned 2 on 2 death match will be coming this summer..introducing first, from team #SnitchandSteal..#d’angelo loose lips recorder #Russell..known around the nba as the sneakiest n**** with a camera phone BUT does come second in #LA history behind the b**** who recorded #donaldsterling hahaha Russells teammate will be #Derek imma f*** teammates girl #Fisher..known in the lakers family room as #DADOG just ran around with that little pink thing hanging out his pants #thirstyDog..ALSO known in the streets as the first n**** in fighting history to have (7 friends)and 1body guard WATCH,while he got his a** whooped #teamNOhelp soon as his back hit that ground that body guard should have been FIRED lmaoo did anyone even PINCH @matt_barnes9 ? Now their opponents,first up from team #WaitTilIseeUN****..#Nick @swaggyp1 #Young known in LA as #usher #MRConfessions..this dummy told on himself like he was on an episode of #thefirst48..nick laying on the bed all calm and relaxed like #russell gave his as a #soda,#ciggerettes and a #ultimatefeast coupon for #redlobster for his confession #SHUTDAFUCKUPPPP hahaha Nick just came out and said”its best me and russell handle this situation we have in private #N****what? Wasnt the LAST conversation yall had in private?? You might wanna treat him like a (#CI confidential informant) take his a** under water to bikini bottom lmaooo get two tickets to #splashmountain before talking that night hahaha and nicks teammate will be #MATT imma kill yo a** derek #Barnes..known in LA as quick tempered,with a heavy foot on that gas pedal to go whoop a night ass REAL QUICK hahaha #Matt will be the first NBA player to have a restraining order put on him By an ex-teammate lol derrick he coming for you bra, EVEN at a kids PICNIC,EVEN in the shower.. YOU better watch yo back….LAKER fans I have #2000( in memories of)shirts, going on sell this summer GET THEM WHILE THEY HOT..it’s a collectibles item if u can get #russell or #fish to it sign before they DIE haha”
(He sounds like an idiot)
Antonio Davis, a former NBA player turned ESPN NBA analyst, said:
We’re like brothers because of everything we’ve gone through. So for your brother to do something like that and for it to end up on social media, that’s lower than low. It says so much about [Russell]. I think it might get so bad that he’s going to have to be traded. If I’m on that team, I’m not playing with him. It would literally be hard for me to sit in the locker room with him.
… C’mon dude. It just sheds some light on D’Angelo Russell and who he really is. Can this guy be trusted? For you to be at my house or for me to be at your house and you to record me like that? It’s almost like he’s setting him up. It’s crazy. This is going to follow him. … It’s never going away.
Tom Legler, also a former NBA player turned ESPN NBA analyst, said:
It’s a shady thing to do. People can write it off as immaturity, but I think it goes deeper than that. I think it speaks to your integrity as a person and your overall trustworthiness. It’s going to be a difficult thing for him to shed. I don’t know how you recover from something like this.
50 Cent, in a since-deleted Instagram post, called Russell a “sucka” who people need to stay away from:
Kobe Bryant, as a certified oldhead, simply said D’Angelo Russell will have to learn from this mistake and that others need to be honest with themselves and acknowledge everybody’s human and makes mistakes. He emphasized the necessity to show compassion and help Russell grow.
Byron Scott, when discussing Nick Young’s current bench-warming streak, said:
It’s been tough. This is probably the icing on the cake as far as how tough it can be,” Scott said. “He didn’t get off to a great start. His shooting has not been what it has been in the past. It went even a little downhill to the last couple of months. The situation last week didn’t help. We all as coaches, players and everybody feel for him and we understand the situation he’s in. It’s a tough situation.
In an interesting turn of events, Iggy Azalea, who first acknowledged the video by saying she enjoyed the film on Twitter, sat down with Ellen Degeneres and claimed her and Young were “good” and there was “no drama at home, just on the internet.” Additionally, while interviewed on a radio show, she said that Nick Young was able to slide this time around because she had no proof that what was said was true but emphasized, “Screw bro code,” citing their engagement as an actual verbalized commitment and acknowledgement that infidelity is a big no-no. She then said she told Young that if anything like this happened again, she’d (excuse my language) cut off his penis.
Unfortunately for D’Angelo Russell, this little incident has been subject to a lot of public scrutiny/public opinion; however, while looking at different tweets regarding the incident, I found it interesting that there seemed to be somewhat of a gender divide between those that thought Russell snitched (males) and those that thought Young was getting off easy for his infidelity (females).
So who is actually at fault?
If you let the majority of news sources tell it, many people point the blame of Russell for breaking the code of silence, or bro code, or whatever code you want to call it. However, some believe that the, “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.”
Ultimately, I think who people deem as at fault depends on their moral compass. Do you dislike a cheater more than the one who brings the cheating to light? Do you think secret videotaping is worse than extramarital affairs?
But, on a more general (and perhaps more dramatic) note, I think the response to this hot mess highlights the double-standards males have.
If the secret video recording taken by Russell was of Iggy Azalea admitting she’d had an affair and it had been leaked, people would have jumped on Iggy Azalea like white on rice regarding her infidelity and probably praised Russell for looking out for his teammate, but when the shoe’s on the other foot, it’s seen as snitching.
Compared to the situation with Kehlani and PARTYNEXTDOOR, where PARTYNEXTDOOR essentially snitched on Kehlani and Kehlani was dragged through the mud, there is a clear difference in response and I can’t help but to think that gender plays a role in it.
The response to D’Angelo Russell’s secret videotaping as compared to the response to Kehlani’s alleged infidelity seems to show that women are expected to be faithful but men are held more accountable for being “disloyal” to friends than they are to be held accountable for being unfaithful to their significant others.
Was D’Angelo Russell dumb for that video? Well, yeah. I still don’t really understand what his original intention of the video was. Is it acceptable for people to be caping for Nick Young? Hell no.
A lot of the discussion regarding why Russell’s actions are such a cardinal sin involve the word trust, but I’m pretty sure, in the commitment of marriage, trust is a lot more crucial. If people want to bring up the word trust to demonize Russell, then they should demonize Young too.