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Football Fans: Why Do You Hate?

Vital Manchester City regular, BlueWolfie sent us the following.

Football fans are people, and as such will bring to the table their personalities, their prejudices, their fears and loves, and a thousand and one other emotions that collectively make an individual unique. Add to this the passion that they have for their club and colours, and it is surprising that we can all remain relatively sane and calm.

Of course, this is not true for everyone or indeed for every particular case, as is self-evident when players who are loved swap teams for example. The same can also be said for the inherent hatred some can have for other clubs, for reasons that are many and varied, but usually consist of local rivalry, being defeated in an immensely important game, or the actions of certain individuals from said club. Happily for the most part, it is normally a case of light-hearted banter, or winding-up, and it has become part and parcel of the game.

Sure, occasionally events can take place that do annoy others greatly, and as fans we feel we need to either set the record straight, or defend ourselves or our club, but every-now-and-then, some sections take it too far.

So why do they do it?

Why do a select few deem it necessary to go completely over-board irrespective of the circumstances, and spout vile abuse? Do they believe it is expected of them by their peers? Or perhaps because they may fear their victims in some way; after all, you do not hear of Chelsea fans going over the top with say, Hull, such is the gulf between them. Maybe it is because that is the sort of person that they truly are, or perhaps they simply cannot distinguish between funny and abhorrent behaviour for whatever reason.

The old adage of 'if you can't say anything nice, then don't say anything at all', may apply in regular life, but isn't really applicable in football due to banter and winding-up. But as I said, there is a huge gulf between taking the pi** and being down-right nasty. By all means keep the banter going, it can be highly amusing, particularly when a rival fails (maybe not for them though), but if all you want to do is give out vile hatred, then might I suggest you go find something better to do with your time.

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The journalist

Writer: BlueWolfie Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday January 14 2010

Time: 8:48PM

Your Comments

BlueWolfie - A rather well timed and pertinent article following the last couple of days on here.
Nice sentiments BW, won't do you any good i suspect.
There is a tribal aspect to football support that compels some to defend wounded pride with excessive zeal. I don't think you'll ever remove that completely from football. Every club has hateful football chants directed at their perceived rivals that they wouldn't be proud of repeating outside football environs. Is that really hate though? How can you hate people you don't really know? Certainly not as individuals simply as members of a tribe. The internet has given a voice to everyone. Whether it's always worth hearing or not is another thing. Where it can be policed it is incumbent on those in a position to do so to make the distinction between good natured banter - even if it has an edge to it - and antagonistic abuse. It maybe a fine line but it is easy for antagonism to get out of hand allowing hate to ferment without anyone really understanding where it came from and why tribal rivalry should turn into something far more unpleasant.
Although hate is a strong word for it, I have to admit watching arsenal get beat or the antics of Wenger doing his Basil Fawlty on the touchline, warms the cockles of my heart.
i've no objection to banter be it at the match or on the internet, what i can'y stand is the vile chants that EVERY teams supporters are guilty of, like the Munich chants to Manure fans, and Hillsboro to liverpool fans, that is despicable and outrageous, we need the comical chants that ALL football fans make -up, but lets leave the vile ones out of it, people died at those 2 tragedies and that is not something to make jest about....BANTER GOOD... SICK CHANTS NOT...
i agree cityman. chants taking the pee are fine but malicious ones have no place in football.
CM51 - ive expressed my feelings on this a few times on our forums and your spot on mate - although i think nikola and his mobbia on vitalARSE are idiots
Good natured banter or antagonistic abuse moonie?
Top article Bluewolfie, I've been thinking about this area of banter and hatred, and where the line gets crossed. I have to admit the distinction gets really blurry, and sometimes when i've posted a sensitive wind-up, some people really bite, and it obviously offends them, which wasn't my intention. Perhaps some people don't spot the underlying humour, but do we stop the banter because a minority don't get it? How do we police the forums without losing the fun? Sometimes it's fun to stereotype for comedic effect, but as we all know some stereotypes, particularly race, are no-go zones for obvious reasons, others are acceptable kind of, such as all Man City fans walk, talk and dress like the Gallaghers - at least Soccer AM get away with it! This could run as a massive thread, but I'm too tired to elaborate now. I guess when we see an objectionable post, we post our reasons and give the offender a chance to retract and apologise, or explain why they are standing by their post. The last thing I want to see is censorship of posts before we all can judge them offensive or inappropriate, and surely if you do post something inappropriate, your peers can re-educate you so you get the chance to learn not to repeat your mistakes.
It's Grim Oop North
Amos - you allowed me to be verbally abused on you website but yet when i commented back you deleted my posts to make you look good - you cant do it on here and if you cant take it why call on here? CYA
Not really true is it! You are clearly very uncomfortable in trying to occupy the moral high ground moonie. :)
Moonie? I'll give you moonie! Check out these cheeks!! Looking for a solid load bearing cistern that can support my 4x4 butt. Right, I'm orff.........
Rule of thumb i've got is to try not to let anything on the internet bother you, real life's a different story though!
Too right Shewore, All this nonsense over Cyber - bullying, it's a load of tosh - just delete or ignore the offensive stuff if you can't handle it - simples. When I were a lad, (cue Hovis advert music), bullying meant getting punched, kicked and generally chased around by mean big boys, and standing up for yourself was the answer. Kids of today, they don't know they're born. (whatever that means).
It's Grim Oop North

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