Former USC basketball player and current LA Laker, Nick Young, has had quite the eventful couple of weeks. Interestingly, just on March 5th, I saw him at our Galen Center, supporting our basketball team at their last home game. My friends and I were admiring him as he interacted with fans and came across as an attentive father to his adorable young son. We were fairly quick to be impressed by his seemingly normal behavior in consideration of his status as a famous professional athlete who is additionally engaged to rapper Iggy Azalea.
However, just a few weeks later, Iggy and Nick announced their decision to postpone their wedding. Still, all seemed generally well and I still viewed Nick as possibly unique in comparison to other professional athletes. Yet, up next for Nick were claims of sexual harassment . At this point, my perception of him had changed and with the latest news on Nick involving him casually admitting to cheating on Iggy with a 19-year-old when he was 30 in addition to his attempts to connect with Amber Rose, I was pretty disappointed.
What I took away from this was a fascination with how the media works. Nick Young is famous, but he's not that famous and yet, through the use of the entertainment media and social media, his image has been completely altered in my mind despite the perception I had of him based on in-person observations. It was on Instagram that the woman alleging the harassment claims made her experience known and it was through social media that D'Angelo Russell exposed Nick as unfaithful to his fiance. The capacity to affect a person's public image through social media is astounding.