Andy Murray stays mum on issue of Scottish independence

'My thoughts on it aren’t that relevant because I can’t vote myself' the tennis star said

He has long been characterised as anti-English, and remains the subject of an anti-Scottish joke, but Andy Murray has refused to put his continued allegiance to Britain on the line by entering the independence debate.

The tennis star – who once said he would support “anybody but England” in the football World Cup, and unfurled a Scottish flag on winning Wimbledon in 2013 – addressed the question during interviews at the Indian Wells hard court championships in California on Sunday.

Yet despite saying he will “take a position”, he said his own inability to cast a ballot on Scottish independence meant he will stay quiet.

“My thoughts on it aren’t that relevant because I can’t vote myself. I wouldn’t personally choose to make my feelings on something like that public either because I can’t vote myself,” he said.

Referring to the mistake of previously speaking on anti-English antipathy in Scotland, he added: “I don’t know a whole lot about politics and I have made that mistake on the past and it’s caused me a headache for seven or eight years of my life and a lot of abuse.”

 

His vouch of silence is a potential blow for the ‘yes’ campaign, which may have hoped one of Scotland’s most famous exports would strike out for independence.

Murray had previously hinted he would say where he stood once he had made up  his mind. Having moved to London, Murray, however, does not qualify for a vote.

Murray learned about the sensitivities of commenting on the relationship between England and Scotland the hard way in 2006.

Then still a teenager, he received hate mail and sharp tabloid headlines after his comments about the England football team.

He posted messages on his website insisting that he was not “anti-English” and that it had all been a joke, but Murray now assesses that it took around eight years to live that comment down, forgiveness perhaps only finally cemented when he won a gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics.

For some Englanders, however, the joke still remains: “Have you ever noticed how everyone says Andy Murray is British when he wins, and Scottish when he loses?”

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