Lions and Murray create sporting dilemma
TODAY I supported the British and Irish Lions and Andy Murray in their respective matches against South Africa and Viktor Troicki.
Nothing unusual about that as I am British and they are both British competitors.
But the Lions team included only two Englishmen – Tom Croft and Simon Shaw – leaving me essentially cheering on a team of Irishmen and Welshmen.
When Ireland and Wales play individually I do not support them any more than I support France or Italy, yet somehow they gain my affections when they team up and throw in a couple of Englishmen.
Similarly Andy Murray is Scottish, but has the English nation lusting over his every move.
If in tennis, British players were classed as English, Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish, like in team sports, then Andy Murray would not be the darling of the English media or public.
In the Commonwealth Games, the British participants compete as four separate nations and I follow only the English team, despite the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish competitors receiving my full backing at the Olympics when they compete as Great Britain.
Despite all of this, I will go on supporting the Lions and Andy Murray, based purely on their nationality, but will do so feeling slightly uneasy and very aware of my hypocrisy.