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Not sure if I’m best qualified to write on this subject? But sod it, here is my two-penneth worth. 

I decided to write this blog after reading an article on the BBC sport site this morning. The article claimed the English FA are “overwhelmingly male and white”. Firstly the laziness of such a statement got right under my skin. Secondly, I couldn’t give a flying f*** if the savior of English football/sport happens to be black, white, German or Argentinian. Really, I don’t care. 

While I fully agree the non-white English minority need more representation across all sports played in this country, their position cannot be overstated. It shouldn’t be about us and them, it should be about a united England.

Take the current test series being played between England and India as an example. You’d be forgiven for thinking England are the ones on tour given the amount of Indian support. While I’m not saying you have to abandon your heritage to live in this country, I wonder if you gave English born minorities had greater representation then we’d see stronger and more diverse English cricket team? I’m convinced we would. 

Take that idea and apply it to all sports.

Honestly I don’t much like referring to any Englishmen as a minority. To me it’s the beginnings of separation that leads to segregation and mistrust. Aren’t all those born in England, English? Daily Thompson and Ian Botham were my childhood idols. It didn’t even dawn on me as a small boy that Thompson was black. Even when I found out it just didn’t matter. To me he was every bit the Englishman I wanted to become. 

A persons race or gender shouldn’t matter but unfortunately it seems to. I know so because after I’d applied to the fire brigade I was told by a disillusioned fireman at the time, I’d have a better chance of getting in if I were a black lesbian. Did that dent my optimism? No, not really. Did I use it as an excuse when I failed to get in? Nope, not one bit. Shit happens and you get on with it.

While all I’ve just said might just sound like generic politically correct dogma, it’s something I believe in.

I love rugby and I love my country. Christ, I failed to get halfway through the national anthem on either occasion I’ve been to Twickenham to watch England. I had to stop singing for fear of blubbing. The hairs stood up all over when the stadium reverberated to the sound of eighty thousand voices. It was awesome.

However, my son is half Irish and should he ever be good enough to play international rugby and chose to play for Ireland rather than England, then I’d be wearing the green of Ireland come game day – even against England.

Matt..

Ps, don’t read between the lines, it’s what you’re thinking, not what they’re trying to say. Also, I’ve tried proofing this but my daughter has a friend over and they’re jumping off the bed-box on to the bed…

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