Is hatred of other football clubs nature or nurture?

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Football News

Raised as a Liverpool fan, you are taught three basic things: love Liverpool, hate Everton and loathe Manchester United.

All three unconditional and without question. You are taught these even before the basic rules of the game, young fans all over England - and probably the world - are brought up the same way. It wasn't until I grew up and began questioning things that I realised it made little or no sense to 'hate' those teams.

Hate is a very strong word and one I now believe should be reserved for things that truly deserve such a harsh label.


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As a Liverpool fan, hating Everton for being across the park is an unacceptable reason - up there with 'I hate you because you have the new iPhone before me'.

The hatred for United is arguably even worse, despising them for being successful and being quite close geographically.

All of these clubs are remarkably similar, two from the same city and the other is close by with the same class system and structure. Ironic really, that hatred in society usually comes against those who are different and yet, in football it is teams who are similar that do not get along.

The question is: are we purely taught to hate our rivals, or is it a natural way of making the sport more interesting?

Youngsters are taught to learn from observing their elders. So why do adults not grow out of this hatred? 

Admittedly, it does add an edge to football when local pride is on the line, but it is taken to such extraordinary extremes. Chants mocking the dead are unforgivable - always - yet they happen every season and blaming them on minority groups is simply not good enough.

In our society in 2015, we need to take more responsibility for our group of fans and take a stand against such hatred. Our children need not be brought up that way. Respect for other teams isn't so far-fetched. Football is just a sport after all; a hobby; a pastime.

People hurting, maiming, killing over sport is disgusting and unacceptable.

Children are taught respect at school, this needs to continue at home. Rivalries can still exist, but to a much, much lesser extent. Banter is well and good but let's save the 'h' word for things in life that are actually life or death. Not for the football field.

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