Sports Letters: Flying the flag

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The Independent Online
Sir: Reading Paul Hayward's comments (12 July) regarding the crowd at the 1992 British Grand Prix, I discovered that I was a tattooed Tommy given to ugly displays of chauvinism and possessive of an empty mind.

I am most grateful to Mr Hayward for pointing out how 'sad' an individual I am for going on to the track with the rest of the Union Jack-draped 'mob'. Mr Hayward is unlikely to have sullied his soul by actually joining this foray, and it is possible he may have missed a few minor points.

During the race I stood next to two people wearing Union Jack capes, shorts, caps and T-shirts. They were Germans there to support Schumacher. There was even an English group who supported Senna. None of this met with any trouble from the crowd - not even taunts. Can many people imagine the same happening at, say, a professional football match? Yet this happens throughout the grand prix season across the world. The Germans went on to the track, too, and enjoyed every minute of it.

To conclude, I would suggest that the writer has allowed his judgement to be biased by the actions of one lunatic who actually managed to get himself run over by a grand prix car. However, one swallow does not a summer make. In view of the language used within his article, I would suggest Mr Hayward think long and hard about the nature of chauvinism.

Yours faithfully,



13 July