Axver (axver) wrote,

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The baffling nature of sporting and ethnic hatred.

There are many things people do that leave me baffled, and two of those are sporting riots and ethnically and racially motivated hatred. Both of those have reared their ugly heads lately at soccer matches in Australia - firstly back in March in Sydney, when Serbian supporters of one club clashed with Croatian supporters of another, and then last night the Macedonian supporters of one club clashed with the Greek supporters of another. This comes just after the recent violence in Europe, centred around the games between Inter and AC Milan and Juventus and Liverpool, and I simply cannot understand it.

Now, I'm as passionate as any other Kiwi about the All Blacks and the Hurricanes and rugby in general, but at the end of the day, it's a general expectation that everyone's aware it's just sport. We trade insults with the Australians (or Aucklanders if we're talking about the Hurricanes), but at the end of the day, everyone's friends. The rioting mentality is so far beyond me that I can't even begin to fathom it. For goodness' sake, it's just sport! Just because your team lost doesn't mean you have any right to go and slug your opponent's fans in the face - and really, what is up with trashing the place when you win? Where has this mentality that violent responses and celebrations are acceptable come from? Are we really that barbaric that when we act solely on impulses, we will express anger or joy through acts of violence that aren't far removed from each other? I certainly would not, and I expect just the same from anyone else. Maybe I've missed something, but I sure don't recall sporting riots in rugby or (the Indian sub-continent excepted) cricket.

And ethnically or racially motivated hatred baffles me even more. I cannot understand why people express violence towards others simply because of where the targeted individuals were born. It's an often repeated phrase, but no-one chooses where they're born, the colour of their skin, their racial heritage, et cetera. But it just doesn't seem to sink in with some people. I cannot understand how people can hate others just because of where they come from. What more can I say, except expressing more confusion? It just doesn't make sense. And this isn't just a matter of thinking rationally, it's a matter of human decency - why in the world would you hate someone solely for their country of origin or race? How does it even matter?

Then when you combine irrational sport-related violence with plain daft racial hatred, you have a combination that leaves me utterly perplexed with humanity. I can't even pin it on barbaric actions committed without any thought, because it's something so removed not only from my own nature, but from the general nature of people that I have observed myself. I cannot understand what inspires or prompts this violence and hatred, and frankly, I don't think I ever want to.

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