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6 Examples of Dont Hate The Player Hate The Game

Don't hate the player, hate the game is the principle that you remain respectful and compassionate towards people in any competition or push for change. The following are possible interpretations with examples.


Civility is the practice of trying to maintain positive relationships with others in society and resolving any disputes in a reasonable way. For example, remaining respectful and kind towards your opposition in politics, office politics, debates and arguments.


Escalation is the process of trying to reach those with the power to address your concerns. This avoids the situation where you are complaining to someone who is powerless to action your request. For example, maintaining a pleasant attitude towards customer service staff when an airline refuses a refund but instead seeking remediation from the airline's management or consumer protection agencies.

Root Cause

Seeking to address the root cause of your dissatisfaction as opposed to directing your dissatisfaction towards the people involved. For example, if drivers are speeding through your neighborhood, campaign to have a traffic calming features installed on your street as opposed to confronting each individual driver.

Compassion & Understanding

Working to view each person in a positive light even where you may disagree. For example, an environmentalist who doesn't blame fishing communities for their impact on the environment but rather recognizes their need to earn a living. This would require win-win solutions that solve problems for both people and planet.

Respect for Competition

Don't hate, cause my game's much tighter than yours
~ Don't hate the Playa, Ice T
The original meaning of the phrase is an admonishment towards those who demonstrate jealousy, envy or sour grapes towards the winners in a competition such as those who are thriving under a capitalist system.


Commonly attributed to the 1999 song Don't hate the Playa by Ice T. However, the Sep 25, 1998 episode of the The Jamie Foxx Show was titled "Don't Hate the Player, Hate the Game" indicating the phrase may have already been in common parlance at this time.
Overview: Dont Hate The Player Hate The Game
Definition (1)
The principle that you remain respectful and compassionate towards people in any competition or push for change.
Definition (2)
The principle that you not let politics cause feelings of bitterness towards people.
Definition (3)
A truism that warns against sour grapes, envy or jealousy directed at the winners in a competitive environment or system.
Commonly Attributed To
Ice T and the 1999 song Don't hate the Playa
Unknown - likely emerged in American Hip Hop or Rap culture in the late 1990s.
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