So it’s the age old statement of everyone whenever they play professional sports… “I dream of representing my nation”, but which one would that be? I mean in a sport like athletics you don’t need to be born in a certain country, just hold residence for is it 4 or 5 years? Isn’t that the same for rugby union, cricket, and boxing? Well there’s probably more and these aren’t the exception but these are the standout sports, the sports that straight away come to mind when you say “Name a national representative born in a different country?”, yes Merlene Ottey (yes that 50 year old 100m runner) that moved to Slovenia in 1998 and was granted citizenship in 2002. Out of the England Cricket Team (06/08/11) you have Andrew Strauss, Kevin Pietersen, Jonathan Trott, Matt Prior and everyone’s favourite Irishman of the moment Eoin Morgan. And then I said boxing… Lennox Lewis born in West Ham moved to Canada then while there he fought for Canada at the 1984 Olympics if you didn’t already know then moved back to England. Same goes for Greg Rusedski, not that he was in the 1984 Olympics, I just mean that Canada is involved although he is seen as British, or meant to be seen as British by some people… Grumblings. Greg Rusedski being a slightly different case though as he was born in Canada and opted to play for Britain in 1995. My point is the only sport where it seems like sacrilege for a player from overseas to opt to play for another national team is football… Things have changed haven’t they? I mean Mikel Arteta, Manuel Almunia, Carlo Cudicini, of course stuff has changed… It hasn’t? Oh ok. Much like how I feel about homosexuality in sports but football in particular, it’s still in the dark ages. If a professional sports player “came out”, excuse the pun but they could come out and play at 100% instead of 99.9% not to say staying in the closet is keeping in a 0.1% stake, just can they seriously say they gave their all, free mind, nothing on it? It’s a shame that people can have a civil-partnership but they can’t feel safe “coming out”… Sad state of affairs. I mean that cricketer came out as gay earlier this year, unbelieveable “tekkers” and he’s 24 so that’s like another 10 years at least to live a “full life”, but apparently everyone in the cricket circles already knew. It’s funny when that happens, it’s like when people remind you of the news at 6 o’clock… Nice!
My point is if you are 100% committed on bettering the team and yourself why the hell should you care on a birth place or sexual orientation? When asylum seekers (Mo Farah) get gold, I really don’t care where they’re from. You’re in a sport, in an event in that sport I would otherwise have no interest in and your participation means I’m more inclined to watch, if you win you’re winning for yourself but you still represent this country and much like piss’eads in Ibiza on a crazy summer you represent this country if you like it or not and so I have to applaud your level and the effort you put in to achieve that level. Who do I think I’am to say “Nope, you weren’t born here… I can’t cheer you on“, if you can say that and mean it I think you’re a burke… Simple. Life deals what it deals but come on! Sure Mo Farah came here when he did, as he did, but the amount he’s had to sacrifice to get where he is, to get on the program he’s on, to win at an event, that all takes something, he coulda said “This isn’t worth it” and simply walked away, but he carried on. So as I type this I can only think of the reason I started writing this post, Manu Tuilagi (the same one that punched Chris Ashton in the Semi-Final of the 2010/11 Aviva Premiership season) scored that try for England vs. Wales in the World Cup Warmup today (6/8/11) he scored that try, Mike Tindall couldn’t of scored that try but Tuilagi did and seriously even if you couldn’t say anything nice just shut the fudge up! Also if you couldn’t say anything nice I’m sure 1 of Tuilagi’s 5 rugby brothers (Henry, Freddie, Alesana, Anitelia & Sanele who are all Samoan internationals) will have a thing or two to say… Exactly… SHADDAP!!!