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Marcus Thornton Silences “The Haters”

Published: December 16, 2010

Okay, I will admit that the title of this article might be a little misleading because I am not really going to take a comprehensive look at Marcus Thornton, nor will I give an opinion on his role moving forward. I put his name in the title because I know it will get each and every one of you to click on it, regardless of your opinion on the 6’4″ guard out of LSU. I know he is polarizing and everyone has an opinion on the man, but what I really want is your opinion on this- “What is a HATER?”

This term has become so overused in the media, on message boards, in popular music, in sports. It has spawned terms for sunglasses, a.k.a. “hater blockers.” People have taken a popular drink that first surfaced at the University of Florida and retitled it “Haterade.” There are even counter measures to this act, as “hater baiting” is a new tactic meant to behave in a manner intended to provoke haters or trick closet haters to reveal their true nature.

The mute button on your cell phone is now sometimes referred to as the “hater button” and March 12th has been labeled “Hater Day”, as it is the official day set aside to be nice to your haters. You think I am making any of this up? Google it you Haters.

But seriously, can anybody here even tell me what a “hater” is?  I see it used in so many contexts and I could not help but notice how all the “pro-Thornton” people were calling the “anti-Thornton” people Haters. But is this justified? Well, I guess we first have to define what a hater is before we know for sure.

The first necessary component I think we can all agree on is that a Hater must have some form of dislike for said Subject that they are “hating on.” This can not be the only prerequisite however, as we do not call those who were disturbed by the Holocaust “Nazi Haters”- there must be some additional components as well. Based on this specific example, most would say that those people are not called Nazi Haters, because they are justified in their belief that what the Nazi’s did warrented some level of dissatisfaction.

This opens up a whole can of subjectivity that muddies the water of the issue. If it is merely condemning when you are justified, but Hating when you are not justified, then who is to say which is which? Are there Obama Haters? Should there be? How about Joan of Arc Haters? I am sure there are a handful of people who would have legitimate issues with her.

Which brings us back around to Thornton and his Hater Nation of fans, and some have even speculated, his head coach. Is Monty Williams the biggest Marcus Thornton hater of them all? Most feel that he is because there is not enough empirical evidence out there to support his decision not to play him. Nobody is labeling Monty as a Pops Mensah-Bonsu hater (well almost nobody), but that is because there is no evidence of Pops being able to become a difference maker for a struggling team. Thornton has showed on multiple occassions this year that he could be just that, although to be fair, he has also showed plenty of moments on the court that make Monty’s decision seem justified.

What I will propose to you is this- a definition for what a hater is and I will let each of you decide whether your fellow Hornets fans and your Hornets coaches are truly “Marcus Haters.” I believe that for one to be a Hater, he or she must knowingly want to see the subject of their hating fail due to some desire for personal gain. The gain need not be significant, but some gain is necessary, and it could even influence the hater to actively hold down the subject or ignore the subjects positive contributions.

Basically I do not believe that critique or evaluation of weaknesses should be labeled “hating”, but far too often they are deemed as such. I also think that a conflict of values are often times seen as “hating”, when in actuality they are just a difference of opinion. If a defensive minded coach in any sport values not turning the ball over above all else, he is not “hating” on the high risk/high reward player, he is just sticking to his philosophy.

It is such a simple word to throw around, but it is ignorant to do so, and we are all more educated that that. We owe it to ourselves to see things from multiple angles, and agree to disagree at times without just labeling others “haters.” Of course, if you disagree with me, I understand- I just ask that when March 12th comes around, you show me a little love.


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