Why should Trey Burke have to apologize for taking nude pictures of himself?

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Kelly Dwyer
Why should Trey Burke have to apologize for taking nude pictures of himself?
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Perhaps I’m missing something here.

Actually, I know I’m missing something here. By choice I’m working without a working knowledge of what Utah Jazz guard Trey Burke looks like without his clothes on, which is not something I can say for dozens of other athletes I’ve been around in various states of undress while working in NBA locker rooms. Burke’s reason for disrobing wasn’t to change back into his everyday clothes following a Jazz game, in this instance, as apparently he took nude photos of himself and sent them to someone who apparently appreciated receiving those sorts of photos via phone.

As, you may have heard, thousands if not millions of people do.

(I understand that feigning ignorance before lecturing an audience is a common sportswriter trope, but this genuinely does baffle me.)

Unless there’s something we’ve yet to learn, Burke wasn’t sending unsolicited photos to someone. He wasn’t harassing someone who wanted nothing to do with pictures like these. If it turns out that Burke was harassing a second party in texting the intended against their wishes, we’ll be the first in line to characterize the person who received and then released the photos as a victim in this case. Guys, if they don’t want it, don’t do that.

If Burke did share these photos with someone who was into that, and they decided (after, presumably, a relationship’s end) to leak them, then why are we getting statements from Burke like this:

"Publicly, I want to first and foremost apologize to my family [and] apologize to the Miller family, as well as my teammates," he said. "We already talked about it in the locker room. From this day forward, it won't happen again. They were old pictures. They were meant to be kept private but they weren't. So from this day forward my actions and my judgments will be much better."

And this:

"We were made aware of the situation this morning," general manager Dennis Lindsey said. "We’ve collected a lot of the facts. We still have a few things to collect and a couple of people to visit with. It’s safe to say … that we are disappointed in what we’ve learned so far but we are going to move forward. At this point in time, we’re collecting facts and we’re going to reserve final judgment for a later date."

Why is Trey Burke apologizing for having photos of his leaked onto the internet?

There’s been a rash of this recently, as you know, mainly centered on female celebrities having personal pictures of themselves (or, as it presumably is in Burke’s case, pictures sent to prospective or current partners) being stolen and posted to the internet for morons that apparently have a really tough time finding pictures of willingly naked ladies on the internet.

Viewers of these photos, and to a far greater extent the criminals behind the theft of these photos, were rightfully shamed (if, sadly, not prosecuted yet) in one of the few recent internet movements that actually should make you feel good for humanity in general. Also understand that this is not a pathetic men’s rights (just typing that phrase has me shaking my damn head) treatise, as I’d write the same thing if a female NBA executive was forced to publicly apologize for something that someone else on the other end of a phone did wrong. Or “illegally,” even.

Unless we find out that Burke was making someone’s life miserable by pushing out photos of himself to someone that didn’t want those sorts of photos on their phones, there is absolutely no reason why he should be publicly apologizing. If he wants to personally apologize to his teammates and the Miller family (who own the Utah Jazz, as you no doubt noted in the quote above), fine. Admit embarrassment over the temporary, minor distraction that lasted a day and a half.

Beyond that, though, the Jazz should really clarify what type of disappointment (their word, not mine) that they’re feeling. Are they disappointed that their employee had personal photos of his leaked onto the internet? Disappointed in the breach of privacy and altogether awful thing that someone did to him?

Or are they embarrassed that Trey Burke took photos of himself without clothes on and passed them on to someone else? “Someone else,” in this case, that purportedly was acting as a willing recipient.

If the latter is the case, then we are disappointed in the Utah Jazz. If the latter is the case, Trey Burke should not have to apologize for that. In either case, he should not have to be shamed by media, fans, his teammates, and most of all he should not be shamed by his employer.

Again, if the recipient of the photos did not want the photos, then Trey Burke is in the wrong here. If the Utah Jazz know that this is the case then they shouldn’t be offering press statements, and they should disclose as much prior to working with authorities to make sure everything is on the level. To put it mildly.

If Trey Burke sent photos of himself to a willing partner and that partner decided to leak them onto the internet later, however, then Trey Burke has nothing to apologize for. Absolutely nothing.

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Kelly Dwyer

is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!