The Magazine

Instagram Envy

Jun 9, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 37 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
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Perhaps you’re aware that a prominent athlete recently posed for an Instagram photo alongside an attractive woman who happened to be involved with another man. Her significant other got carried away with his emotions. Hounded by the green-eyed god jealousy, he acted foolishly and spoke rashly. And then everyone forgot all about it—participants, press, and public.

Instagram

Instagram

Apologies if you thought we were talking about the Donald Sterling affair. Understandable, however, since it was only a few weeks ago that audiotapes of the soon-to-be-former owner of the Los Angeles Clippers in conversation with his girlfriend revealed the 80-year-old billionaire to be a bigot. Sterling, the tapes show, didn’t want his lady, V. Stiviano, to keep posting pictures of herself posing with prominent African-American athletes, particularly NBA legend Magic Johnson. “I’m just saying that it’s too bad you can’t admire him privately,” Sterling told her during the now-famous conversation. “But don’t put him on an Instagram for the world to see so they have to call me.”

No, what The Scrapbook is referring to is the latest iteration of what appears to be the same phenomenon—let’s call it Instagram Envy. In Las Vegas last week, the rapper known as T. I. picked a fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. after the boxer was captured in a photo posing with T.I.’s wife, Tameka “Tiny” Cottle. It was late at night at Fatburger on the Vegas strip when T. I. approached Mayweather about the Instagram, and the pugilist told him he had the wrong idea. There was nothing going on between him and Tiny, and if T. I. was intent on further confrontation, then, said the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world, “you must’ve forgot what I did for a living.”

Still, T. I. took his chances. All we know for sure about the impromptu showdown is that there were a lot of chairs thrown at Fatburger. It’s hard to tell from the video, but it seems it was Mayweather’s bodyguards rather than the champ himself who did most of the heavy lifting. T. I., it was feared at first, had wound up with two black eyes, but he later released a video to show the world he was unscathed.

The same, of course, cannot be said for Donald Sterling, banned for life from the NBA and compelled by the league to sell his franchise. What’s worth noting is that both he and T. I. were motivated by the same complex of emotions. That’s where the similarity ends. The former confided in what he thought was privacy to his girlfriend, who made his buffoonery public. Conversely, we know nothing about T.I.’s private thoughts about other men and the woman he cares about. And for starting a fistfight with Floyd Mayweather, his image is forever enhanced.

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