Because the sports world doesn't have enough to worry about, we now have the highly serious beef between hip-hop mogul Jay-Z and the wonderful world of lacrosse.
OK, it's probably best not to take this seriously.
MTV's Rob Markman reports some athletes aren't laughing at some words offered by Jay-Z in a recent song. The rapper who also leads a budding sports agency featured in DJ Khaled’s "They Don’t Love You No More."
According to Nadeska Alexis, writing for MTV, the jury is out on whether Jay-Z is calling out Drake. What isn't up for debate is what he thinks about the sport of lacrosse: "Haters wanna ball, let me tighten up my drawstring/ Wrong sport, boy, you know you’re as soft as a lacrosse team."
And that is how ridiculous controversies are made, kids.
Because it's always the most sensible manner to gauge a reasoned response, we head off into Twitter land and find tweets that are actually safe for work:
Thanks to Jay Z people are going to look up lacrosse and see that it is the opposite of soft. Lacrosse is a full contact sport unlike Bball.— Ryan Leininger (@ryanleininger) April 29, 2014
Jay z says lacrosse teams are soft. Maybe when flopping becomes a part of our sport you can make that argument. Desperate for lyrics.— Dakota Hollister (@DHolly16) April 29, 2014
If only the abbreviation LAX stood for a kind of reminder to relax, we wouldn't have to delve into something really rather dumb.
However, we now have a statement issued from a Major League Lacrosse spokesperson delivered to MTV News and posted in Markman's report. It reads:
Lacrosse is often called the fastest sport on two feet. Players are on the field dodging and shooting balls at over 100 miles per hour. With that said we don’t think Jay-Z knows what he’s talking about when he calls Lacrosse ‘soft’ I can guarantee you it is anything but a ‘soft’ sport.
Mr. Carter would not last one minute on a lacrosse field during a match and he is more than welcome to come to any of our games and try.
Please make this happen, because we are at the nadir of the sports calendar.
Complex's Edwin Ortiz and Lauren Nostro actually spoke with some MLL players who had some thoughts on the lyric.
Max Seibald of the New York Lizards offers, "It is just a few words in a song, not a big deal. If people within the sport are offended by a comment by someone who clearly doesn't know the game, then maybe they are soft."
The Chesapeake Bayhawks' Jovan Miller finds the whole thing pretty funny:
I found it humorous, honestly. I love Jay-Z, and Drake is my favorite music artist. I just think it was a play on words, nothing more, nothing less. I mean, most people don't take the time to know what lacrosse is about anyway, so it's easy to knock something you don't try to understand. Jigga Man is the best, so even if he's dissing my sport, at least he mentioned it.
And Jerry Ragonese of the New York Lizards really digs deep into the subject:
We as a sport can’t attack Jigga Man for his lyrical styling. Lacrosse is labeled as a sport for the ‘privileged white youth’ who often are looked at as ‘soft’ individuals, and has, in the past, been personified by tall, skinny boys with a familiar Baltimore-style haircut wearing pastel colored pants as they drive their parents Range Rovers to practice. Jigga [was] absolutely on point as those were, at one point, stereotypes in the game...
And so we have the modern-day equivalent of water-cooler banter, inane controversies that pass the time. Only, when it comes to the Internet, it involves a wealth of people across all manners of lacrosse familiarity.
If we had to guess, we like to think lacrosse (the word not the sport) just fit well into the syncopation of the lyric, which is lost on a great many who enjoy lacrosse (the sport, not the word).
If anything, one throwaway lyric managed to really bring the spotlight to MLL and lacrosse at large. This very topic was covered by MTV, Deadspin, NESN and more. In a way, Jay-Z's slight is the sport's immense gain, garnering attention it normally wouldn't.
Nobody in their right mind who has ever enjoyed watching the sport thinks it's soft, because it isn't. And nobody with any sense ever took the majority of rap lyrics all that seriously, because that is how you ruin a perfectly good song.
Hit me up on Twitter, you softies: Follow @gabezal