Hate: Do You Know What It Really Means?

Evan KanterContributor ISeptember 17, 2010

Hate is one of the most misused words in the English language. Sports fans and writers often express their emotions of displeasure of an athlete using this word. It’s almost like the word has been overused in everyday conversation that it has lost its core meaning. We use it in sports all of the time, like when people say, “I hate Lebron James for abandoning Cleveland.” Some people say it and actually mean it, such as in the political realm when people proclaim their hate for homosexuals or of a particular race. When one expresses true hate about someone to the point where they deface someone’s name and heritage publicly, there’s something wrong. That’s what happened to the Sacramento Kings’ Omri Casspi.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines hate as an intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or a sense of injury. That definition can fit the mold for some sports fans that adamantly and passionately dislike a certain athlete. Where this definition really rears its ugly head is in the hearts and minds of people who, in all honestly, have no place in this world, plan and simple.

Omri Casspi, the first Israeli born athlete to play in the NBA, has been the target for a hate crime not once, but twice. A mural of him with a swastika on his forehead was portrayed on September 8, 2010 and was promptly removed. The mural was redone a second time on September 16. The Anti-Defamation League and co-owner of the Kings Joe Maloof are offering $1,000 apiece for offering any helpful information leading to an arrest of the perpetrator(s).

It pains me to even begin thinking about all of the examples of pure, unfiltered, and unabashed hatred in all forms. I have trouble understanding the unwarranted hate being shown towards another when they have done nothing wrong. Why does someone have to deface the image of a young Jewish basketball player in Casspi coming to the United States for the first time? No wonder parts of the world hate America! If I were the type of person that harbors hate and lived in another country I would too! Frankly, I’m not sure living in another country would help in my position.

Hatred and racism is still very much alive in this country, unfortunately. It’s truly a sad thought. You can’t escape it, honestly. From sports broadcaster Don Imus’ comment about Rutgers women’s basketball team to ignorant jackasses defacing an innocent Jewish young man’s heritage, hate is here to stay. Heck, you can even hop onto Xbox Live and play a game of Halo and hear all of the disgusting things people have to say. It’s astounding to say the least. The best a sane person can do is to avoid these people like the plague and surround themselves with loving, caring, and clearheaded individuals.

So next time you say you “hate” someone, think twice. Words are more powerful then you think, even in a joking context. It is not meant to be thrown around, but rather respected. The world will be a much better place for it. But hey, by that logic, everything in the world would be hunky dory, and we can’t have that. There always has to be some kind of animosity and conflict. I guess I’m just flapping my gums on this issue. In the end, it comes down to the heart of the individual. The emotions stem from there. The question is, what emotions do you want to invoke?

By Josh Delp of the Sports Fan Blog Network