My hubby lost count of how many times he heard me utter these words as we spent Sunday afternoon watching this.
Now, maybe it was because of where I grew up. Maybe it was because of the way I was raised. Maybe it’s because of the amazing friends that I have and hopefully will continue to have. But I just don’t, and never will, understand how people can treat a fellow human being the way Jackie Robinson, was treated by his teammates, players, fans, and people who never even took the time to get to know him. As I sit here typing this with a lump in my throat recalling that nauseous feeling I had in my stomach on what was otherwise a gorgeous south Florida afternoon, my thoughts wandered to what would cause someone to HATE.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, hate is defined as:
1: intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury
b: extreme dislike or antipathy : loathing <had a great hate of hard work>
2: an object of hatred
Don’t get me wrong, I have my share of “hate” for certain things: peas, sauerkraut, cold weather, driving for countless hours on end. Then of course being a proud member of this since the day I opened my eyes…
I have a natural hatred for all things…
…which makes for an interesting season in our house. Of all the men in the world, I somehow ended up marrying one of THOSE. Yup, I really did. I must have felt sorry for him. Either that or his insane sense of humor…
However, I will be the first to say I was beyond impressed when New York did this after the Boston Marathon bombings.
As crazy emotional as I tend to get when watching my teams play, I always try not to lose sight of the fact that it is always JUST A GAME. I cried when the Red Sox won the World Series, cried when the New York Giants won the Super Bowl (I know, I know – major contradiction), and cried when the Miami Heat won their NBA Championships. All three of them. How those contests ended up though, in no way affected how the world rotated on its axis, stopped the starvation crisis in Africa, or brought an end to world poverty. They were all just games, played by some very talented human beings. Just like Jackie. Human beings with feelings, just like the next person. Human beings who feel love, hate, anger, frustration, fear, and joy.
Sports brings out both the best and worst in us. Who hasn’t felt pride when Old Glory is raised and the National Anthem is played because an American won an Olympic event? Do we hate when an athlete from another country was just .001 faster and took the gold? Of course not. Sports is the world’s great equalizer. Some are better, some are not. But in the end, it was all about the effort and who was just a little more hungry for it than the next. And hatred has no place in it. Or anywhere else. Ever.
So the next time someone pisses you off to the point that you just want to smack them up side the head, remember this. Branche Rickey believed in Jackie’s ability to be the bigger man. He believed that Jackie would make his bat do his talking for him. And he believed with all his heart, even with all the obstacles that would undoubtedly be thrown in his face along the way, Jackie would triumph. And boy did he. Did he ever.
A friend of ours once made a remark after one of our parties that it looked like the United Nations had been in attendance. I can only hope it will always be that way. I count myself as incredibly lucky that my path has crossed with those of so many others from different races, countries, religions, and backgrounds. I am so proud to look at my life and see that hate has no place in it and never has.
Except maybe for baseball season. Damn Yankees…
Enjoy the ride.
(Photos courtesy of Pinterest.)
What do you think causes someone to hate?