How Justin Verlander taught me to understand the atrocity of the leaked nudie-pic

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Last month, the Internet world (specifically that of the sad, lonely geek) was rocked by a tremendous event called by many names and with far-reaching implications. The once fluffy iCloud was breached and rained down upon all those who had 15 minutes to spare a barrage of private photographs, sensual in nature, of dozens of budding starlets. Twitter, Reddit, Tumblr, Imgur and a host of other popular social media sites were inundated, if not completely overrun, by the sudden boom of starlet selfies.

Initially I hardly noticed. After all, this is no new frontier. To my knowledge, since the formation of the Internet, pornography has been available in hordes, and a large amount of it is celebrity-based. So plentiful are these websites that at times it seems that the sole inspiration for the Internet’s creation was to show the bare breasts of that lady that played the housekeeper on that one season of that one sitcom in the mid-’80s.

The "news" of this "event" was everywhere, reported in every major outlet, but basically failed to pierce my consciousness. That was until I saw, scrolling at the bottom of my screen, a name more familiar to me than the others: Justin Verlander.

Justin Verlander is not just a baseball player — he’s a six-time All-Star, a Cy Young Award-winning, no-hitter-pitching, 100-plus-mph-throwing bona-fide bad-ass. Oh, and did I mention that he’s dating a supermodel? That particular fact is what landed him on the bottom-of-television scroll that grabbed my attention so dramatically. He was, like the many celebs of Hollywood, exposed in the buff for all the world to see because of a hacking scandal.

My thoughts rolled in, quickly and cluttered as if I were a teenaged girl awaiting the results of The Voice finale.

Oh no! Not him! Not Justin! What could he have possibly done to deserve this? Those scumbags! Those disgusting scumbags, violating privacy as if it wasn’t worth anything, is nothing sacred anymore!? What I wouldn’t do to be in a dark alley with a bucket of baseballs and those responsible tied to a chain-link fence.

I instantly understood every tweet, Facebook post or vlog response I had seen on the matter. I understood those weeping tweens crying out in confused gargles and feeling exposed and ashamed themselves; I became that weeping tween.

I feel small-minded now, that in order for me to see the grave injustice of stealing something private and broadcasting it to the world, it took someone I could personally identify with as a man and as a sports fan falling victim to an Internet crime. It took a baseball superstar to tap into my inner tween girl who sympathizes with the woeful injustices brought upon the modern-day starlet.

Britney? Lindsay Lohan? If only I would’ve felt then the way I feel now. I apologize for being so dismissive of your troubles. I thank you, Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander, for bringing to light and helping to abolish the insensitivity and sexism I have had harbored inside of me for who knows how long. (And that is a sentence I can honestly say that I never thought I’d write.)

Nic R. Krause was born a cranky, curmudgeon of a child in a Minnesota suburb. He was plucked from the muggy tundra and relocated to Colorado Springs 22 years ago. From intramural jai-alai, to his complicated relationship with the Minnesota Vikings, Nic, plainly stated, is bonkers for sports. Follow him on Twitter @NicRKrause.

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