Hoping for a Tommie Smith Moment

When it comes to sport we are all familiar with the concept of the vast majority of Scots not supporting England in major tournaments.

Furthermore, we are also familiar with the complaint that when it is a UK team, a Scottish winner is described as “British” and a Scottish loser is described as “Scottish”.

But I will go you one further.

I don’t support the UK in any of these competitions either. I don’t like it when the olympics etc come round and a Scot wins or does well and is then seen parading around with the union jack. So in these tournaments I support no one. Not even the Scots in the UK team because if they do well then the victory parade with the Union Jack is on the way.

So when the olympics are on and the media are frenziedly trying to turn a London party into a UK party (does that last line make anyone think of something else too?), I’ll be waiting for a Tommie Smith moment.


A Tommie MacSmith moment would of course be nice but some displays of social conscience by any of the athletes would be good. I know they are told not to but I think the point is that you do it even though they don’t want you too.


  1. I try to ignore the flag-waving aspect of the Olympics full stop, to be frank. Most of the major Olympic sports are individual sports (athletics, swimming, tennis, modern pentathlon) and the athletes, if they’re honest, are mainly there for themselves. Wearing the British vest isn’t an act of subjugation, it’s just a practical necessity. As an internationalist, I like to see a good, strong competition won fairly by the best athlete on the day, whoever that might be and regardless of what colours they’re wearing. If the best athlete is one of ours that’s a nice little extra, but my enjoyment of the contest doesn’t depend on it.
    But that said, there would be something nicely symbolic about the 2012 games in London being a swansong for Team GB, and the idea that after the Union Jack goes down over the stadium at the end of the closing ceremony, it will go into the museum of Olympic history. That would be fitting, I think.

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