One of the phenomena that social media has brought to the world is unusual spats between unlikely celebrities, the latest of which has been a ding-dong battle between American rapper Snoop Dogg and former England and Tottenham star Paul Gascoigne .
Snoop began the battle on Instagram on Thursday, when he posted a picture comparing himself to Gazza aged 20 and aged 47.
The former footballer’s images were captioned with ‘Alcohol Abuse’, while those of the musician were similarly captioned ‘Marijuana Abuse’ in an apparent attempt to show that cannabis is safer than alcohol.
Gascoigne has had well-publicised battles with alcoholism and mental health issues and responded in kind, taking to Twitter to launch his broadside.
He posted an image of a dog, apparently Photoshopped to have hair reminiscent of the American artist, with the reply: “Morning @SnoopDogg get your lazy arse out of bed it’s walkies time woof woof you ugly t*** LOVE GAZZA xxx.”
Gascoigne added: “FFS I’m getting grief. I just got back from Spain doing4days of charity work&3days enjoying myself&I’m getting fucking snoop dog posting a picture from around 6to8yrs ago&in the press FFS 4 no reason well I ain’t finished yet @Shanewh1tfield&@SnoopDogg shane get him some work😂xx”
FFS I’m getting grief😂I just got back from Spain doing4days of charity work&3days enjoying myself&I’m getting fucking snoop dog posting a picture from around 6to8yrs ago&in the press FFS 4 no reason well I ain’t finished yet @Shanewh1tfield &@SnoopDogg shane get him some work😂xx— Paul Gascoigne (@Paul_Gascoigne8) June 28, 2019
Further to that, Gazza took to social media again on Saturday with a fresh video, mocking Snoop, though it was later deleted.
Why has Snoop targeted Gazza?
It’s not exactly clear why Snoop Dogg has elected to take aim at Gazza, other than an attempt to push his pro-marijuana agenda.
The reason, however, could be tenuously linked to the Old Firm, however.
Snoop Dogg has been a celebrity fan of Celtic since they defeated Barcelona in 2012, at that time suggesting he was willing to take on a share in the club, stating: “I see how passionate Celtic fans are about their team and I could see myself making an investment if any of the board wanted to sell.”
He has also been seen wearing the Hoops on several occasions, first in 2005, although he clearly has no strong allegiance to any side, having regularly been posted in different colours of clubs around the world.
However, Gascoigne played for Celtic’s bitter rivals Rangers for three seasons between 1995 and 1998. He often provoked Bhoys fans during his stint in Scotland, notoriously mimicking playing the flute as a celebration during an Old Firm match as a nod to the Orange walks that divide the city and Northern Ireland. In 2015, he revealed he had received death threats as a result of this action.
It is, therefore, possible that Snoop targeted him for this reason.
What has the fallout of the Snoop vs Gazza spat been?
Alcohol Change UK has hit out at Snoop for using the pictures of the former England star to illustrate alcohol abuse.
Speaking to Sky News, Andrew Misell, a director of the charity, said: “It's an unhelpful contribution to the debate around alcohol.
“Paul Gascoigne has been struggling for many years with a range of health issues, often in the full glare of the media spotlight. Anyone experiencing such harms deserves better and should not be stigmatised in this way.
“Photos such as these do nothing to help us understand the impacts of alcohol harm on individuals, which are often complex and varied.”