Kenny Rice: “Difference in Opinions, Skepticism Doesn’t Make You A Hater”

RKheadshotIn this overly Politically Correct society it is puzzling how sensitive some words have become yet one word is frequently used to describe almost anyone with a differing opinion or who might be slightly skeptical–HATER…

Wow, that’s rather insensitive, almost hateful. A lumping of something said or written that isn’t of like mind can be instantly qualified as hating. Not mildly going another direction, or offering a different course, nah make it about hate. It’s conveniently tied up in an unflattering and unfair bow. All encompassing without thought to detail or tone.

Two people have a debate, an old fashioned exchanging of ideas–HATER. The rawest of nerves about this seems to come as much from sports, where participants are expected to be tough and have thick skins, than from other walks of life save reality shows. Oh, maybe I hate reality shows, but I don’t, at least most of them.

HATERS–Everyone who relished Duke losing out again in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, this time to Mercer. The reality is most of the basketball fans outside of Durham, N.C. root against the Blue Devils which is more a testament to the tremendous program Coach Mike Krzyzewski has built. It’s tantamount to those baseball fans who want any team but the New York Yankees to win. Success if often envied, then again sometimes everybody enjoys a good underdog performance. But hate? Dislike, resentment, indifference are all more likely to be the case.

HATERS–Some coaches embrace the word as motivation. Kentucky Coach John Calipari is doing so with his band of amazingly talented freshmen who were picked by most polls to win the whole thing before the season started but didn’t finish the regular season in the top 25. To call them underachievers would be more than fair, it would describe how they played virtually all year. But Calipari uses words like “being under attack” when his team has been scrutinized, or “hated” when anyone questions the continual reloading of his program with new players every year. Even a prominent sportscaster tweeted the UK victory over number one seed Wichita State should quiet the haters. What is that all about? Media members are now massively labeling anyone who has another view as a hater? Being “hated’ can be a good thing sometimes for rejuvenating, rallying and inspiring. It has taken UK to a Sweet 16 showdown with arch-rival Louisville.

HATERS–Here’s the tricky part of it. While the PC leaners don’t want to hurt feelings, they do allow for mocking at the worst times. Manhattan coach Steve Masiello left the program after three years for a higher paying and higher profile job at South Florida only to have their offer rescinded because he didn’t graduate from college as he stated on his resume. Not that I think having a college degree makes one a better coach, but I can understand the sensitivity of truth and honor at an institution of higher learning. There is also something to say about forgiving and second chances be it Biblical, or just human kindness. Okay, he screwed up but some of the vile tweeted about all this does lean toward hate. It’s as if we are all in agreement to treat each other with respect unless they are caught in a mess, and piling it on–PC out the window–is considered appropriate form. This is the confusing part of hating, there is a kick ’em while they’re down acceptance and what is politically correct about that?

HATERS–MMA athletes who have used Testosterone Replacement Therapy are a distinctly divided group of supporters who see no wrong at all. While those who are borderline haters, throw out words like cheaters, immoralist, sinners to describe TRT usage. TRT is a steroid, it is an advantage, and as UFC boss Dana White says in our “Inside MMA” promo says “maybe they (TRTers) are too old to fight. ” But to hate them? Extreme. All these fighters, whether you like them or not, took advantage of a loophole that the state of Nevada used to until recently, allow. They didn’t break a rule they embraced it. Poetic justice could be that the vast majority didn’t improve their stock, they still lost. Without TRT though, maybe they would not have even made it to the cage. Either way to dislike the use doesn’t equal hating the fighter for taking advantage of an opportunity.

HATERS–As tough as nails in training and fighting, most MMA fighters are among the most touchy about opinions that differ. Pick the other person to win, you have to hate them. Question a publicized problem they have, you obviously hate them or would never bring it up, even though everyone else has. Refuse to do an interview with them because they don’t want to answer questions everyone wants to know, you hate them a lot. It stems from the encouragement of building a twitter following, a Facebook fiefdom, and other social media outlets. Public arguments with people you don’t even know are rewarded monetarily by the UFC and some organizations as long as you increase their numbers. I believe some fighters hate that, and some alleged fans love that. They can get under the skin of a star by being a hater. It is a strangely symbiotic relationship of hating the haters yet acknowledging them.

HATERS–What this loose term has done is reinforce the self entitled. You don’t like me, you must hate me. You don’t see it my way therefore you hate me. The Northwestern football team is the latest example actually winning a court order–which obviously and correctly will be appealed–to have a union. For what? It seems a free college education isn’t enough for athletes today, and heaven forbid they don’t like the way the coach is handling things, because in the real world we all get what we want and never worry about bosses or have to comply with a company policy. It’s a deal the college scholarship–they are getting ‘paid’ via tuition and books and room and board. There is tangible gain from being a college athlete and of course the rare, extremely good ones can further that showcase college provides with a professional contract. But these Northwestern players apparently hate the status quo of just the opportunity to attend a prestigious school. They are sensitive, until they get their union and the freshman third string linebacker demands as much as the all conference senior starter. That might be different. I could say there is irony in Northwestern, not Alabama or Florida State seeking a union deal, for all those major bowls they regularly go to and the demand for prime time TV games, but that would be…hating.


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