Sports Fans Have Trouble Dealing with a High School Girl on Their TV

Last night, Mallory Edens, the daughter of Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Wesley Edens, became an instant celebrity by representing the team at the NBA Draft Lottery. 

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Last night, Mallory Edens, the daughter of Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Wesley Edens, became an instant celebrity by representing the team at the NBA Draft Lottery. Her dad probably thought bringing his high school daughter along to the televised event would be a cute good luck charm. Twitter thought it was a little more than that — she gained 30,000 (mostly male) fans overnight.

There are thousands more tweets like those above, most of them coming from grown men. Insert an attractive young women in their sports, especially in a place where she isn't expected, and they apparently lose their minds. Someone already wrote a song about her (We're in love with Mallory/She got a rich dad/We're in love with Mallory/Picking second's not bad). Some sports blogs like Gamedayr posted pictures of her in a bikini. And pictures of her, it seems, are in high demand — "mallory edens instagram" is the first search suggestion that comes up on Google after her name. The jokes about her age, of course, imply their behavior would be inappropriate (or even illegal), if she were not over the age of consent. To be clear: Edens is 18, but she won't graduate high school until next month.

Given the way social media treats attractive high school girls today, it's not surprising that she became a star. Instagram is dominated by underage girls in short-shorts and bikinis — famous high school "cheerlebrities" command hundreds of thousands of followers on the app. Tumblr similarly prizes photos of young women, especially very thin young women. And unfortunately, some of these girls' older fans are more than just voyeurs. (James Franco famously tried to pick up a 17-year-old on Instagram back in April.)

For her part, Edens seemed to take her lottery responsibilities seriously. She told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, "I was really nervous, but really happy to get the second pick. I was extremely nervous but it was really fun."

We don't know if Wesley Edens had some clue this would happen and that his daughter's presence would generate interest in the Bucks (which is fine, I guess — better to know what you're getting into), or if he's even aware of the less appropriate responses. His older daughter, Madison, told the Journal-Sentinel that she's happy her dad chose Mallory to do the honors: "She's definitely the more photogenic one, so I was happy to give it to her. I could not be up there. She was amazing."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.