There are people out there who still, for some reason, think the term "Bro"—specifically "lacrosse Bro"—is a dirty word burdened with negative connotations and dusty boatshoe cliches. In some pockets of the public imagination, it still is. But that's pretty silly for a three-letter word that's largely a term of endearment, mostly used in jest.
In a vague effort to "raise awareness," Adrenaline Lacrosse Awareness released this video above challenging lacrosse players, "Don't be a Bro, be aware." Since the campaign is overstuffed with fluffy buzzwords to the point of ad nasuem, let me spell out really simply what they mean: Don't be Brantford Winstonworth, a fictional and increasingly irrelevant caricature made for satirical entertainment purposes on YouTube... almost three years ago.
Of course, you shouldn't need someone to tell you that. The point of a joke is to laugh at it, not do one's utmost to become it. That's a message a certain type of lacrosse player probably needs to hear if they think "Broing out" simply means rocking Warrior gear, not playing very seriously, and caring way, way too much about their general "swaggy bro" demeanor. No one likes a poseur. Remember: The point of a joke is to laugh at it, not become it.
Peter Dante, the so-called "awareness guru" who's "striving for real change" sums it up with his motivational speech at the video's two-minute mark:
"We are a brotherhood, we are a family. We do not like the term 'lacrosse bro.' A lacrosse bro is a kid who is not respectful. A kid who is a mouthy; who doesn't listen. A kid who's an indivudual. We are part of that fraternal order because we are a team, we are a family. If we don't volunteer somewhere or do something good for someone else, you shouldn't be a lacrosse player. Because being a lacrosse player is about being a complete person."
Before we continue... Dante? The pothead from "Grandmas Boy"? This guy?
Just had to point that out. We digress.
Of course lacrosse players should strive to make impacts in their communities by "being a complete person." But that's not something exclusive to just lacrosse players: We all should strive for that goal. Everyone, regardless of whether you're on a lacrosse team, a memeber of the college chess club, or the pizza delivery guy down the street. That's what civic duty and generally being a productive member of society is all about.
But let's also address the negative smear campaign against the term "Bro." We'll just have to agree to disagree with the underlying implication that Bros "are not respectful," don't make an impact, has a bad attitude, and generally lack the awareness that goes into being "a complete person."
We define "Bros" pretty simply here at BroBible: Bros are 18- to 34-year-old guys who are socially active, upwardly mobile, career ambitious, and hyperconnected. That's it. The underlying idea that "Bros" simply don't care or don't listen is utterly preposterous to us. If our audience—"Bros" lumped in the classification above—"didn't care," why else would they cheer on a military family's homecoming at the Unviersity of South Carolina, support Cantor Fitzgerald's annual 9-11 charity day, rally around an 11-year-old lacrosse player's return to the field after losing her arms and legs from a rare immune disease, or celebrate the amazing accomplishments of a 14-year old pitcher who threw a no-no with one arm? Why else would we celebrate amazing accomplishments both on and, more importantly, off the field in our Bro of the Week segement?
A broad and sweeping overgeneralization about a population is a slippery-slope, especially when building an organizational agenda around it. Yes, be aware, be a great neighbor, be kind, be a team player, and be genuinely willing to do something amazing for someone else. Those are all great things. Just don't think for one second that Bros aren't doing those things too.