I don’t believe because you’re not face to face with an individual you’re allowed to verbally assault that individual. But social media has become the medium of choice for verbally abusive tyrants. I don’t think your chosen method of communication should change who you are and what you communicate. But from the screens of computers and cellphones, thumb terrorists spew hate and judgment, especially during sporting events.
After the Golden State Warriors’ loss last night, a large amount of self-proclaimed Cavs’ fans verbally assaulted Ayesha Curry, wife of Steph Curry. One guy even referred to her as the n-word. No you cannot stop mean people from being mean and evil people from being evil, but we can stand up against such people and shame them. Let them feel like the minority not the majority. Let them know their verbal carnage will not be tolerated or celebrated. Make them the outsiders.
This is not an attack on Cavs’ fans and a praise of Warriors’ fans. There have been awful verbal attacks from both sides. It happens in all sports. As a football mom and 31 years of watching sports, I’ve seen and heard the worst in people all in the name of a game. But we accept hateful behavior in sports because it means we’re riding with our team and repping out cities. Naw. If you’re verbally assaulting strangers with your words and your behaviors, you’re as fanatic as a terrorist.
I’m no longer shocked when there are mass shootings, not because of our lax gun laws. But because of the recklessness of our hearts. Every action is first conceived in the heart. I’m not shocked when hate is birthed in violence because there is just so much hate conceived in our hearts. No where should we make concessions for hate. However in sports, we somehow believe we’re justified to hate another person on the other team or another city where their team is housed. When we allow hate to live anywhere in our hearts, it manifests itself in our thoughts, our words, then our actions. Passion without compassion leads to hate. It’s just that simple. Your passion for your race or religion or gender without compassion for another person’s race, religion or gender leads to the hate of racism, prejudice, bigotry, misogyny and homophobia.
But in sports hate is tolerated and even celebrated because it’s us versus them. But there is no them in humanity. There is just us. We are us. When we fail to see the importance of our connection now display compassion for one another, we have manifestations of hate in our schools, churches, movie theaters and nightclubs. But we point a self-righteous finger at the gunmen while we too are carrying weapons of hate in our hearts ready to unload at anyone from their team, their fans, even their families.
It’s time to check ourselves. No where in our hearts should hate feel comfortable dwelling. If you find yourself cursing at someone on social media or in person, verbally attacking players and their families and spreading hate and offensive language and behavior because of a game or anything sports related, don’t let that behavior personally go unchecked. There’s a difference between critiquing a game or a play and being unconscionably vile to the player, his family or other fans.
Yes sports are emotional, passionate events but if they’re showing a side of us that lacks compassion, then it’s time we check the conditions of our hearts on social media and in our communities. Sports should bring us together. It should be a time of fun and excitement and yes even disappointment when our team loses or our guy doesn’t win. It’s okay to be frustrated, upset and disappointed when our team loses. But if you’re spewing hate in the name of sports, check yourself. It’s not the game. It’s not their team. It’s you. It’s time to do better and be better.