Adrenaline Lacrosse released a video the other day as part of an effort “to promote a new way of thinking in the sport of lacrosse,” according to the video’s caption. The tagline for this campaign is, “Don’t be a bro. Be aware.”
I love that an influential lacrosse brand like Adrenaline is taking a stand against what I see as the phony, commercialized “bro” culture that has exploded around lacrosse in the last few years. On the other hand, I’m not sure they’re offering any real solutions.
First, the “bro” thing. Everyone defines it differently. In the video, Adrenaline “Awareness Guru” Peter Dante says, “A lacrosse bro is a kid who is not respectful, a kid who is mouthy, who doesn’t listen, who is an individual.” I can get behind putting a muzzle on mouthy, disrepectful kids who don’t listen. But my definition of “lax bro” would include: Players who care more about their gear or their pinnie or their flow than about improving as a player; players who thinks their talent — or their sweet gear — entitles them to be arrogant; players for whom dressing and acting the part are more important than the sport itself.
Not every lacrosse player fits that definition, not by a longshot. But those are the guys who reflect poorly on the sport. So how do you identify those kids and retrain them to be respectful team players who represent the game with honor? I’m not sure a YouTube video and a marketing campaign is going to get it done. Hopefully there’s more to come. But it’s not going to be easy to convince a bunch of kids who have been raised on Flow Society shorts, sublimated pinnies and sick highlights of guys ripping top cheddar to settle down and learn to play the game right and be good ambassadors for the sport.
It would be great if every player would put the sport before the culture, but it’s going to be hard to put the toothpaste back in that tube. So I appreciate what Adrenaline is trying to do, but the video claims to be the start of a movement without really defining that movement. A line early on calls on lacrosse players to, “Make an impact. Create some movement out there in a positive way.” Sounds great, but what does it even mean? “Don’t be a bro. Be aware.” Again, a good line but not a lot of substance.
Hopefully this is just the beginning and the details will come. It will be great to see Adrenaline taking a leadership position in reversing the trend of the tail wagging the dog in this sport.