The Real Problem Surrounding the D’Angelo Russell Story


With the D’Angelo Russell news hitting national media today, all eyes on are Los Angeles. But the real problem is being overlooked.

News broke today about a story surrounding the #2 overall pick in the NBA draft D’Angelo Russell of the Los Angeles Lakers. Russell was drafted last summer with the hopes of taking the mantle away from Kobe Bryant on being the next star of the Lakers. He was to be their cornerstone for the years to come.

Now the future is cloudy as Russell has broken “bro code” in the locker room with his players. To fill you in on the story, here is a clip from the ESPN story covering the whole drama….

“Sources told that some teammates’ trust in Russell is eroding after a video surfaced in the past week that shows Russell recording a private conversation between himself and teammate Nick Young. Young does not appear to realize he is being taped.

The video, which is believed to have come to light last week via the Twitter account of a celebrity gossip site, shows Russell filming Young while asking questions about Young being with other women. Young and Australian rapper Iggy Azalea announced their engagement last June.”

The “snitching” gained national headlines not because Russell taped Young, but rather the sensitive topic that Russell taped Young talking about. If Russell taped Young talking about his favorite burger joint in LA and released it to the media then I wouldn’t be writing this post. But it’s because Young was talking about the other women he has been with that made the story hit national news.

Now Russell is being crucified from everyone who can get behind a mic or keyboard. Stephen A. Smith said on SportsCenter this morning that he didn’t even want to talk to the kid because besides “messing around with a teammates wife” this is the worst you can do. This is “bro code”. Other anchors, social media sites, and national news is labeling Russell as a back stabber and “can never be trusted again.” They even discussed on ESPN this morning about Russell potentially being traded over the offseason.

His Lakers teammates have now taken it to themselves to isolate the kid and show their displeasure with the youngster.

“At a recent breakfast meeting, one source said, no Laker would sit with Russell at his table. The source added that, in another instance, Russell came into the locker room and sat next to guard Lou Williams, who got up and walked away.

“It’s bad,” one team source told’s Ramona Shelburne. “It’s about as bad as it can get. There were trust issues already. Now there’s no trust.” -ESPN

Jan 14, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers and Southern California Trojans former guard Nick Young (right) and entertainer and recording artist Iggy Azalea attend the basketball game against the UCLA Bruins at Galen Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 14, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers and Southern California Trojans former guard Nick Young (right) and entertainer and recording artist Iggy Azalea attend the basketball game against the UCLA Bruins at Galen Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

But is D’Angelo Russell the only victim?

I am in no way taking up for the young fella, but I think there is an underlining factor that nobody is talking about.

It’s how national media, including ourselves, is totally overlooking the topic of the recording. That it is completely normal for athletes to cheat on their wives and girlfriends. That we almost find it funny and praise an athlete for having multiple women. That we expect it.

Remember at the ESPYS when rapper and world icon Drake hosted the event and took to the stage to have a whole segment where he threw out jokes about athletes cheating on their women. He even performed a whole song about the topic making fun of it and bringing light to the idea of athletes having women “on the side” or “in every city.”

THIS is the problem.

National media, including ESPN, has lived by this double standard with women that simply drives me nuts. They do a great job at promoting and saying the right thing on bringing equality to men and women with different programs and stories, but then they go backwards at the same time.

When Drake is up on stage laughing and making fun of athletes (MEN) cheating on their spouses, how do these women at home who have been cheated on feel like? Used? Hurt? The joke is on them basically.

I know Iggy Azalea is a world icon herself, but imagine how she felt listening to that tape released by Russell. Imagine if it wasn’t Iggy and instead a normal wife or girlfriend who found the news this morning about that video?

But all the news is about D’Angelo Russell and how he is the coward and snitch who can’t be trusted anymore. To make things worse, they are making the story out to where NICK YOUNG IS THE VICTIM? WHAT?

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I just don’t get it. I don’t get how we live this double standard on respecting women, respecting relationships, etc. At one moment people were crucifying Ray Rice (and rightfully so) for what he had done to his spouse, but yet we sell out concerts to Chris Brown after he beat, bloodied, and choked Rihanna.

When are we going to start taking relationships serious? When are we going to start clamping down on people in the public limelight about their affairs and flings? If we truly care and respect women, it’s time we start putting athletes on blast for not respecting their women.

Was D’Angelo Russell wrong for secretly taping his teammate talking about a sensitive issue? Absolutely yes.

But is Russell the only one wrong in this situation? Absolutely not.

Nick Young should be scrutinized the same way Russell is for giving Russell something to tape in the first place.