Murray signals backing for Scottish independence

Updated - November 16, 2021 09:51 pm IST

Published - September 18, 2014 03:27 pm IST - LONDON

Andy Murray

Andy Murray

After carefully avoiding taking a side on the issue, former Wimbledon champion Andy Murray changed course on Thursday and signalled his support for Scottish independence on the day of the historic vote.

The Scottish player sent out a post on Twitter early Thursday, just hours ahead of the polls opening on the referendum to break away from the United Kingdom.

Murray indicated that negative campaigning by the anti-independence side had made up his mind in favour of secession.

The 27-year-old Murray, who grew up in Dunblane, Scotland, resides in England and would not be eligible to vote in the referendum. But he is one of Scotland’s most high-profile global figures and his words will get wide airing in the country.

In 2013, Murray became the first British player in 77 years to win the Wimbledon’s men’s title, a victory that was celebrated with national fervour all across Britain. He also won a gold medal for Britain at the 2012 London Olympics, draping himself in the Union Jack after beating Roger Federer in the final.

“If Scotland became independent, then I imagine I would be playing for Scotland,” Murray told reporters at the recent U.S. Open.

“I don’t know a whole lot about politics, and I have made that mistake in the past and it’s caused me a headache for seven or eight years of my life and a lot of abuse,” he said.

After Murray’s Wimbledon victory, Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond waved the “Saltire,” the blue and white Scottish flag, in the Royal Box.

Murray was critical of Salmond’s gesture and spoke of his national identity.

“I am proud to be Scottish, but I am also proud to be British,” he said at the time. “I don’t think there is any contradiction in that.”

Should Scotland vote for independence, Britain would lose its No. 1 tennis player. Murray would be free to represent Scotland on the tour and also in Davis Cup.

It’s uncertain whether Scotland would be able to form an independent team in time for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. If not, Scottish athletes could either continue to compete for Britain or compete under the Olympic flag.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.