Sunday, April 9

Lacrosse Guys Are a Different Breed

On the heels of the rape scandal enveloping Duke's men's lacrosse team, Dave Jamieson writes in Slate about "the culture of an elitist and relatively obscure sport." Lacrosse, more than any other, "represents the marriage of athletic aggression and upper-class entitlement." Jamieson has a theory about how college lacrosse players end up even more misogynous than players in other contact sports:

Perhaps it's because, unlike their football brethren, an unusually large proportion of college lacrosse players spend their high school years in sheltered, all-boys academies before heading off to liberal co-ed colleges. Most guys from single-sex schools are able to adjust. Others join the lacrosse team. The worst of this lot become creatures that are, in the words of a friend of mine, "half William Kennedy Smith, half Lawrence Phillips." In the warm enclave of the locker room, safe from the budding feminists and comp-lit majors, their identity becomes more cemented.

Looking back at the lax players I knew in high school and at Princeton, I suppose I agree. Overall, they were pretty much a bunch of cocky bastards. (I'll leave it to others to psychoanalyze why that makes guys so attractive.) Although there were always one or two nice guys who proved to be exceptions, in general college lacrosse guys are just SAE, making the bad behavior of Duke's team all that more predictable.