Lax Bro Subculture Hurting or Helping the Growth of Lacrosse?

Posted on June 5, 2012 by

Categories: Equipment/Gear, Lifestyle

Jennifer McKim, a staff writer for The Boston Globe, wrote an article that many might view as an uneducated and skewed outlook of lacrosse. “Scoring Style Points” illustrates a life of leisure for most lacrosse players. McKim highlights the costs associated with the sport, but misses the mark tremendously by not clarifying how many enthusiasts actually despise the crippling subculture. Yes, McKim received statements from non-lax bros, but she could have gone further by exposing the subculture as a gimmick created and supported by the apparel and equipment industry to turn a profit.

McKim writes:

Older lax bros — short for “lacrosse brothers” — tend to offer similarly vague definitions of the phenomenon, but it is easy to spot them. Lax bros display a certain understated confidence that critics call arrogance. They wear their hair long, a look known as “lettuce.” They dress in colorful board shorts, flat-brim hats, and bright half-calf socks. They carry lacrosse sticks, or “spoons,” on and off the field.

Not every lacrosse player wears the same clothes or jams out to heady music. Lacrosse players should not be confined to one particular dress code or zipcode. Should lacrosse culture be defined by apparel, attitude and economic status? Hell no. Don’t let it happen.

Here is an infographic listed within the article:

The infographic only pertains to Massachusetts on a limited scale. I’d love to see an infographic of declining baseball teams in Massachusetts, because that’s what articles should be about these days. McKim must have checked out the Warrior Lacrosse 2012 Lookbook.

McKim’s piece reinforces stereotypes about lacrosse players being jerks based upon what they wear and how they act. Years ago, there was a stigma about laxers being wealthy and privileged. The tide has turned, and now outsiders say we are “lackadaisical” slackers. McKim should schedule an article for later this year exploring the option for a cataclysmic battle between the “prestigious laxers” versus the “lax bros,” much like the “greasers” versus the “socs.”

An article like this pops-up multiple times a year. Dear writers of the world, stop! We get it, you’re new to the sport and want to paint a canvas for the many newcomers each-and-every year. You’re not the first to do it, and as a result you have scribbled crap instead of a Matisse.

I don’t discourage individuality one bit. I love that fact that our sport brings so many different people together with their own unique style. That’s what makes the sport great! It’s an art. Do what you will with my remarks and sound off below.

Posted in: Equipment/Gear

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  • guest

    she probably just watched the “ultimate lax bro” on youtube and based her story on that video.

  • http://twitter.com/BeardyTaughtMe Alex Beard

    Where does one buy a $400 lacrosse stick? Does it shoot the ball for you?

  • http://twitter.com/BeardyTaughtMe Alex Beard

    Where does one buy a $400 lacrosse stick? Does it shoot the ball for you?

  • http://twitter.com/BeardyTaughtMe Alex Beard

    And her sources are nine and 13 years old…

  • http://twitter.com/BeardyTaughtMe Alex Beard

    And her sources are nine and 13 years old…

  • guest

    Weird, most young lax bros take the “Ultimate Lax Bro” video as their gospel even though its just a parody of the lifestyle in the first place. 

  • guest

    Weird, most young lax bros take the “Ultimate Lax Bro” video as their gospel even though its just a parody of the lifestyle in the first place. 

  • guest

    once you get into high school the hole “lax bro” thing leaves you, and only little kids were colored mid calfs, throw on a pair of white nikes! and its all about pastels

  • NJlaxbro

    This is what makes lacrosse special no other sport has stuff like this I do not see any baseball shoes or shorts!! And people who wear this are dedicated to the sport!!

  • NJlaxbro

    This is what makes lacrosse special no other sport has stuff like this I do not see any baseball shoes or shorts!! And people who wear this are dedicated to the sport!!

  • NJlaxbro

    This is what makes lacrosse special no other sport has stuff like this I do not see any baseball shoes or shorts!! And people who wear this are dedicated to the sport!!

  • BLC Joe

    Unfortunately if you went with, say a Talon beast or something similar you’re looking at $250 the priciest heads out there can border $125 plus a custom string job for $25-$50 and you’re at $400. On that same note I have an Evo X on a krypto shaft and strung it myself for $80. It’s all a matter of smart shopping.

  • BLC Joe

    Unfortunately if you went with, say a Talon beast or something similar you’re looking at $250 the priciest heads out there can border $125 plus a custom string job for $25-$50 and you’re at $400. On that same note I have an Evo X on a krypto shaft and strung it myself for $80. It’s all a matter of smart shopping.

  • BLC Joe

    Unfortunately if you went with, say a Talon beast or something similar you’re looking at $250 the priciest heads out there can border $125 plus a custom string job for $25-$50 and you’re at $400. On that same note I have an Evo X on a krypto shaft and strung it myself for $80. It’s all a matter of smart shopping.

  • BLC Joe

    Unfortunately if you went with, say a Talon beast or something similar you’re looking at $250 the priciest heads out there can border $125 plus a custom string job for $25-$50 and you’re at $400. On that same note I have an Evo X on a krypto shaft and strung it myself for $80. It’s all a matter of smart shopping.

  • Bstrads

    They’ve got a point some of the annoying as middle school fags over do the flow society shit

  • Bstrads

    They’ve got a point some of the annoying as middle school fags over do the flow society shit

  • Mytambasmith

    What is wrong with a subculture? So if i am a privileged player, should i not indulge? It is like when a person becomes a millionaire, they do not sit on all of it, these millionaires buy things. Like you can pick out a “lax bro” you can pick out a wealthy person. These items may perpetuate superficial value, but only based on who is using those items. Walk into any wealthy neighborhood every one is well dressed, Polo shirts, fancy summer dresses, and other high end fashions are just some of the things that tell a little story of someone’s wealth. Why do rich people not wear rags, and potato bags, because they don’t have to. The same with “lax bro” culture why shouldn’t a laxer have a $400 stick if that is what he chooses to spend money on? Does that kid’s stick choice degrade the integrity of the game? These expenses are badges to be worn, to quietly or loudly brag about a person’s way of living. So what if you get a few bad apples who disrespect the true “lax bro” style, name any thing involving humans that doesn’t have a bad apple…..i think i have one…..reporting…….wait no that’s not it. the half-calfs, bright shorts, and stick are the laxer’s badges to say, “look, i’m a proud laxer.” Similar to the “laxer” badges, a millionaire just exchanges the stick for a Mercedes, the bright shorts for some very nice slacks, and the half-calfs for imported leather shoes. Is the millionaire doing something wrong as well? Is the millionaire “swag” going to die out as a small phase? I think the answer is probably not soon. The “lax bro” subculture can be compared to owing a gun: in the right hands it can do great things, in the wrong hands it can do evil things.” If the stereotype says that “lax bros” are cocky, is because many laxers are cocky. If the stereotype changed to say that laxers are super-community service-donate to charity-stand up guys, that is because many of them act that way. “Lax bros” are not doing any thing wrong or out of the normal in our world, and they for sure are not going any place soon. The looks will change but the idea will be the same. 

  • Mytambasmith

    What is wrong with a subculture? So if i am a privileged player, should i not indulge? It is like when a person becomes a millionaire, they do not sit on all of it, these millionaires buy things. Like you can pick out a “lax bro” you can pick out a wealthy person. These items may perpetuate superficial value, but only based on who is using those items. Walk into any wealthy neighborhood every one is well dressed, Polo shirts, fancy summer dresses, and other high end fashions are just some of the things that tell a little story of someone’s wealth. Why do rich people not wear rags, and potato bags, because they don’t have to. The same with “lax bro” culture why shouldn’t a laxer have a $400 stick if that is what he chooses to spend money on? Does that kid’s stick choice degrade the integrity of the game? These expenses are badges to be worn, to quietly or loudly brag about a person’s way of living. So what if you get a few bad apples who disrespect the true “lax bro” style, name any thing involving humans that doesn’t have a bad apple…..i think i have one…..reporting…….wait no that’s not it. the half-calfs, bright shorts, and stick are the laxer’s badges to say, “look, i’m a proud laxer.” Similar to the “laxer” badges, a millionaire just exchanges the stick for a Mercedes, the bright shorts for some very nice slacks, and the half-calfs for imported leather shoes. Is the millionaire doing something wrong as well? Is the millionaire “swag” going to die out as a small phase? I think the answer is probably not soon. The “lax bro” subculture can be compared to owing a gun: in the right hands it can do great things, in the wrong hands it can do evil things.” If the stereotype says that “lax bros” are cocky, is because many laxers are cocky. If the stereotype changed to say that laxers are super-community service-donate to charity-stand up guys, that is because many of them act that way. “Lax bros” are not doing any thing wrong or out of the normal in our world, and they for sure are not going any place soon. The looks will change but the idea will be the same. 

  • Mytambasmith

    What is wrong with a subculture? So if i am a privileged player, should i not indulge? It is like when a person becomes a millionaire, they do not sit on all of it, these millionaires buy things. Like you can pick out a “lax bro” you can pick out a wealthy person. These items may perpetuate superficial value, but only based on who is using those items. Walk into any wealthy neighborhood every one is well dressed, Polo shirts, fancy summer dresses, and other high end fashions are just some of the things that tell a little story of someone’s wealth. Why do rich people not wear rags, and potato bags, because they don’t have to. The same with “lax bro” culture why shouldn’t a laxer have a $400 stick if that is what he chooses to spend money on? Does that kid’s stick choice degrade the integrity of the game? These expenses are badges to be worn, to quietly or loudly brag about a person’s way of living. So what if you get a few bad apples who disrespect the true “lax bro” style, name any thing involving humans that doesn’t have a bad apple…..i think i have one…..reporting…….wait no that’s not it. the half-calfs, bright shorts, and stick are the laxer’s badges to say, “look, i’m a proud laxer.” Similar to the “laxer” badges, a millionaire just exchanges the stick for a Mercedes, the bright shorts for some very nice slacks, and the half-calfs for imported leather shoes. Is the millionaire doing something wrong as well? Is the millionaire “swag” going to die out as a small phase? I think the answer is probably not soon. The “lax bro” subculture can be compared to owing a gun: in the right hands it can do great things, in the wrong hands it can do evil things.” If the stereotype says that “lax bros” are cocky, is because many laxers are cocky. If the stereotype changed to say that laxers are super-community service-donate to charity-stand up guys, that is because many of them act that way. “Lax bros” are not doing any thing wrong or out of the normal in our world, and they for sure are not going any place soon. The looks will change but the idea will be the same. 

  • Mytambasmith

    What is wrong with a subculture? So if i am a privileged player, should i not indulge? It is like when a person becomes a millionaire, they do not sit on all of it, these millionaires buy things. Like you can pick out a “lax bro” you can pick out a wealthy person. These items may perpetuate superficial value, but only based on who is using those items. Walk into any wealthy neighborhood every one is well dressed, Polo shirts, fancy summer dresses, and other high end fashions are just some of the things that tell a little story of someone’s wealth. Why do rich people not wear rags, and potato bags, because they don’t have to. The same with “lax bro” culture why shouldn’t a laxer have a $400 stick if that is what he chooses to spend money on? Does that kid’s stick choice degrade the integrity of the game? These expenses are badges to be worn, to quietly or loudly brag about a person’s way of living. So what if you get a few bad apples who disrespect the true “lax bro” style, name any thing involving humans that doesn’t have a bad apple…..i think i have one…..reporting…….wait no that’s not it. the half-calfs, bright shorts, and stick are the laxer’s badges to say, “look, i’m a proud laxer.” Similar to the “laxer” badges, a millionaire just exchanges the stick for a Mercedes, the bright shorts for some very nice slacks, and the half-calfs for imported leather shoes. Is the millionaire doing something wrong as well? Is the millionaire “swag” going to die out as a small phase? I think the answer is probably not soon. The “lax bro” subculture can be compared to owing a gun: in the right hands it can do great things, in the wrong hands it can do evil things.” If the stereotype says that “lax bros” are cocky, is because many laxers are cocky. If the stereotype changed to say that laxers are super-community service-donate to charity-stand up guys, that is because many of them act that way. “Lax bros” are not doing any thing wrong or out of the normal in our world, and they for sure are not going any place soon. The looks will change but the idea will be the same. 

  • Brett Hodgins

    So let me make sure I’m getting this right.  I wear snapbacks because they’re the current style, mid-calfs because I’m a goalie and don’t want abrasions on my shins/ankles so they’re the only socks I have and, lacrosse shirts because they represent the sport I love. I do carry my stick around with me everywhere I go but that’s only because I always try to find time to PRACTICE REAL TECHNIQUE! So does that automatically make me a “lax bro?”

  • Brett Hodgins

    So let me make sure I’m getting this right.  I wear snapbacks because they’re the current style, mid-calfs because I’m a goalie and don’t want abrasions on my shins/ankles so they’re the only socks I have and, lacrosse shirts because they represent the sport I love. I do carry my stick around with me everywhere I go but that’s only because I always try to find time to PRACTICE REAL TECHNIQUE! So does that automatically make me a “lax bro?”

  • Brett Hodgins

    So let me make sure I’m getting this right.  I wear snapbacks because they’re the current style, mid-calfs because I’m a goalie and don’t want abrasions on my shins/ankles so they’re the only socks I have and, lacrosse shirts because they represent the sport I love. I do carry my stick around with me everywhere I go but that’s only because I always try to find time to PRACTICE REAL TECHNIQUE! So does that automatically make me a “lax bro?”

  • Anon

    theres a difference between a lax bro and little kids who dress up in flow society stuff and use bright ass sticks like you have pictured at the top. the real ones are here to stay, the kids will grow out of it

  • goon

    really well said(written)..kudos

  • http://laxallstars.com/hot-pot-of-lax-as-usual-everyone-misses-the-bro-point/ Hot Pot Of Lax: As Usual, Everyone Misses The Bro Point | Lacrosse All Stars

    [...] Lacrosse Playground also has a response post up where the writer asks, “will the Bro stereotype help or hurt lacrosse?” and it’s a great question. The writer starts out talking about the proliferation of gear and how manufacturers are to blame, but unfortunately he cuts this portion short. The rest of the article seems to focus on simply dismissing the idea that Lax Bros are what the Globe said they are. And then at the bottom there is a link to a story titled “Why Babes Love Lax Bros”. [...]

  • Fplax16

    Jennifer McKim,

    I am sorry if the lacrosse community is held to a higher standard than many other sports because it is mostly played in affluent areas.  It seems as though these days depending on the sport the athlete is held to a certain standard.  Society has come to expect NBA Players and NFL players to act like goons and get arrested for weapons possession, drug possession, and Murder just to name a few transgressions.  Does my self confidence come off as arrogance, perhaps, but this is also a big reason for many of my successes in life.  Do I dress a certain way, yes!  Basketballs kids where jordans and long nike shorts with baggy tees,  I where Rainbow sandals and khaki shorts with polos and pinnies.  Why dont you look up graduation rate among student athletes and GPA among student athletes, You find lacrosse players to be very high on those lists.  There will always be bad people in good circles, thats just the way it is.  Look in the mirror, the media is filled with people that ruin lives by misreporting and writing whatever they feel people will read.  Maybe you should write an article on slander as it appears in magazines, newspapers and blogs.

    Get all the facts not just the bad ones you loser.

  • club athlete

    who are you paying to string a head for $50? fucking rip-off. buy 1 titanium shaft and 2 nice identical heads. the titan wont break for a very long time, and with 2 heads you have a backup). pay someone $15 to string them for you the same way and learn to play with both.

  • club athlete

    who are you paying to string a head for $50? fucking rip-off. buy 1 titanium shaft and 2 nice identical heads. the titan wont break for a very long time, and with 2 heads you have a backup). pay someone $15 to string them for you the same way and learn to play with both.

  • Guest

    Way to further the stereotype.  It’s too bad all that self confidence didn’t manifest itself in being able to spell “wear” correctly.

  • Guest

    Way to further the stereotype.  It’s too bad all that self confidence didn’t manifest itself in being able to spell “wear” correctly.

  • http://collegelaxfan.com/hot-pot-of-lax-as-usual-everyone-misses-the-bro-point/ Lacrosse All Stars Membership Staging – Hot Pot Of Lax: As Usual, Everyone Misses The Bro Point

    [...] Lacrosse Playground also has a response post up where the writer asks, “will the Bro stereotype help or hurt lacrosse?” and it’s a great question. The writer starts out talking about the proliferation of gear and how manufacturers are to blame, but unfortunately he cuts this portion short. The rest of the article seems to focus on simply dismissing the idea that Lax Bros are what the Globe said they are. And then at the bottom there is a link to a story titled “Why Babes Love Lax Bros”. [...]