46 2 mins 9 yrs

Rory McIlroy

It’s really quite sad;

 

World number one golfer Rory McIlroy may opt to take a neutral back seat and avoid competing at the 2016 Olympic Games amid controversy over which country to represent. McIlroy (23) admitted he might opt out of playing altogether at Rio de Janeiro as he mulls over whether to declare to play for Britain or Ireland. “I just think being from where we’re from, we’re placed in a very difficult position. I feel Northern Irish and obviously being from Northern Ireland, you have a connection to Ireland and a connection to the UK,” McIlroy said. The Co Down golfer said in a BBC documentary that he was enduring an uncomfortable battle of conscience.

Rory made the error of saying he would like to play for Team GB in the 2016 Olympics. This was immediately seized on by Nationalists and he was forced to back track. Now he is in a position where he has to sit on the fence lest one side or the other be offended. It’s a shame. The truth is that any public/Sporting figure who comes from Northern Ireland and declares loyalty to the United Kingdom is instantly attacked by small minded intolerant Irish nationalists. Parity of esteem  means NOT saying you are British f you come from Northern Ireland.

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46 thoughts on “WHICH SIDE OF THE FENCE TO YOU GOLF ON?

  1. The truth is that any public/Sporting figure who comes from Northern Ireland and declares loyalty to the United Kingdom is instantly attacked by small minded intolerant Irish nationalists

    Of course no one would ever dream of gloating over such a thing in order to slap it into that community;

    AS BRITISH AS CAN BE….

  2. Yeah because Unionists never have a problem when people from Northern Ireland declare for Ireland (such as James McClean, Darron Gibson etc)? In fact both have been called traitors and been given death threats by tolerant unionism.

  3. Quite apart from the argument that to be regarded in the political arena as a ‘nationalist’ is bad thing, while to be likewise regarded on the sporting scene it is a good thing, an argument that bears all the signs of hypocrisy and political manipulation, and one guaranteed to generate problems.

    In the former instance unity is seen as potentialy dangerous, and a threat to others, while in the latter case a united fan base, is seen as an indication of an individual or teams popularity – and an essential for generating the cash for those very generous wages and handouts.

    With the Olympics, national fervour is encouraged to minimise any criticism of the excessive amounts spent in furthering the national cause, whether as a host country or just as the ‘team sponsor’. As far as Teaam GB is concerned – should we now regard them as ‘in the public or the private sector’, as they all seem to receive handsome grants, funded by various means by the government, to be able to concentrate on ‘training’. Is a ‘civil servant still a civil servant by any other name?’

    That a succesful Olympic team is seen as a reflection of a successful nation and a popular leadership is one of the larger fallacies foisted on people the world over. The number of ‘honours’ recently received most certainly reinforces the idea that ‘our government’certainly believes it to be so, and confirms the concept of ‘bread and circuses’ to keep the masses content.

    The further discussion on which sports are really valid ‘Olympic sports’, is another heated discussion in the making. That corruption more or less forced the Olympics to go ‘open’ rather than amateur, was a very sad day.

  4. An argument that bears all the signs of hypocrisy and political manipulation, and one guaranteed to generate problems

    Indeed Ernest, particularly when you have inflammatory and jingostic ‘up yours’ headlines like this;

    AS BRITISH AS CAN BE….

    AS BRITISH AS CAN BE….

  5. I believe that his house is for sale and that he’s leaving the country.

    I’d bet that one reason is to avoid any and all such negative discussions.

    Leave the guy alone.

  6. He had been selling anyway, Phantom.

    David — You should put your argument here to Neil Lennon, see what he makes of it.

  7. In all truth Phantom much like Eddie Irvine I don’t think that he would have stayed after reaching the pinnacle of his sport

    Leave the guy alone

    Indeed, from my comment in the link provided

    And good luck to him

  8. Despite the Olympics supposedly being a sporting occasion for Amateurs, I’d bet my life on one thing. If/when Rory signs his MEGA deal with Nike, I can assure everyone here that Rory will enter the Olympics.

    Nike will demand it. They won’t pay $250m for their wunderkind to be sitting at home twirling his 7 iron while the biggest sporting event in the world hits the airwaves.

    Not saying I know who he’ll play for – my guess would be teamgb. But, Padraig Harrington has already given him all the excuse (if he required) he needs.

  9. World class athletes are unbelievably confident and positive people

    He would want no part of this type of this type of nasty damned if you do and damned if you don’t issue

    One good way to address the question is to sidestep it

  10. He would want no part of this type of this type of nasty damned if you do and damned if you don’t issue

    I agree however S. makes a very good point regarding Nike sponsorship. They won’t let him take a back seat and he’ll have to choose.

    Whichever team he chooses to play for I wish him the best of luck.

  11. David Vance – Since this is the first time you’ve written on the topic I am not sure if you are aware of a guy named David Vance who also writes here on occassion and has been as biased from a Unionist perspective as any biased nationalist on the topic of who Rory plays for. Wait a minute…

  12. Yeah David’s attitude here is problematic; it’s part of the problem Rory faces.

    I agree with Paul, best wishes to him whatever he chooses.

  13. As an Irish County Down man, I wish my fellow-countyman all the best whatever he does. It’s none of my business what he chooses.

    “This was immediately seized on by Nationalists and he was forced to back track.”

    Pretty much all the nationalist commentators I read expressed regret that he would not be playing for Ireland but said it was his choice and wished him all the best. We are not as obsessed with flags as certain others 😉

  14. All of the Rory will he won’t he is beside the point, which is why on earth should there be golf at the olympics? Maybe snooker and darts will be next, followed by horse racing and sky-diving?

  15. Indeed, I used to love the Olympics (despite its faults) but the expansion of some sports, the politics (Taiwan forced to not call itself its own name, march under a different flag and use a different anthem) and the coverage which seems to indicate no athlete lives who hasn’t overcome some soap opera has soured me on it.

  16. The corruption of the modern Olympics has destroyed the Corinthian spirit that was once the unique virtue of most sports. The main ethos was not about winning, but of taking part.

    From sport being a complimentary facet of the modern working life, it has become just another money spinning branch of the entertainment industry, and in the process has turned so many from being particpants into spectators. Modern greed has ruined so much that once had any ethical element.

  17. The Olympics now are awful, unwatchable, and nationalism is part of what is wrong with it.

    I love sport, but I did not watch a minute of the London Olympics, or of the one before, wherever it was held.

  18. Man is tribal. Hence the huge followings enjoyed by footballclubs, American sports, golf etc.
    The financial exploitation and politicization of sports is inevitable. Sport has lost its innocence and integrity. I stopped watching the Olympics back in the 80’s. The achievements of Seb Coe, Steve Ovett, Steve Cram were fantastic. One of the things one notices nowadays is that “of yore” athletes and footballers actually held down jobs, and sport was simply a passion. Now we have sportspeople whose chosen sport is their only occupation, and whilst that is not necessarily a bad thing (golf for example) I don’t think it is doing football any favours.

  19. I would think that the more you love sport, the less likely you are to watch the Olympics.

    And golf, fine and challenging game that it is, probably does not belong in such a competition anyway.

    He can compete for the US someday maybe, leaving the dreary steeples behind for good.

  20. I think the nationalistic side of the Olympics is excellent. It is a healthier outlet for national pride and indentity than wars. I also think that most people don’t take it to extremes. They root for their nation but appreciate effort and achievement regardless of nationality.

    As to Rory, I suspect that he has made this statement so that when he does declare, it will harder for anyone to have a go at him.

    I doubt if this has anything to do with selling his NI house. He operates on an international stage and doesn’t need to have a house there. He will never want for a bed in NI!

  21. The problem with nationalism here is that the TV networks really only cover the US athletes. Everyone else is only a prop, a foil.

  22. I love sport, but I did not watch a minute of the London Olympics

    Phantom

    You and me both. Being away on holiday helped me to avoid it entirely.

  23. I watched some of London’s Olympics, it was run well, and I was in Ireland for a great part of it so I didn’t have the same coverage focus (Go katie taylor!) as I would in the USA. Overall it has become less of an attraction to me as noted above (with glimmers of hope).

  24. “The problem with nationalism here is that the TV networks really only cover the US athletes.”

    The US has athletes?! Can’t say I noticed any this summer. Maybe they were too far to the left when our winners were crossing the line …

  25. Despite the blindingly obvious fact that the selection procedure is a long way off and that first and foremost Rory has to actually qualify first………

    He is from Northern Ireland. He plays for GB & Northern Ireland. Simple.

  26. Jm,

    Only he currently plays for and was funded by ireland. So, it’s not as simple as you make out either.

  27. I know very little about Golf to be honest but i wasn’t aware that the Republic of Ireland had an international golfing team??

  28. I am ever so slightly richer because of Rory, bless him!

    Or I will be as long as I don’t cash in my Santander ISA before time.

  29. No you don’t JM, or international naming conventions either, but I’ve heard if this thing called Google or some such like that may help you.

  30. I have no clue, but probably not.

    It’s all burnt orange UT football in these parts.

    Playing eighteen holes on a gorgeous course is one thing, viewing it on television is like watching paint dry.

  31. I used to think that, but boy – if you’re in say rural Georgia during Masters Week, its like the World Series / World Cup / Super Bowl all in one. All eyes are on the tube to see who gets that green jacket.

    I rarely play and I only watch once or twice a year, but I really enjoy those one or two times.

    One thing about golf – a lot of ” average people ” play on the greatest courses, for business or pleasure. You can play at St Andrews or at the Masters if you want to, on the same grounds that all the greats played on. I love that.

  32. ‘No you don’t JM, or international naming conventions either, but I’ve heard if this thing called Google or some such like that may help you.’

    A quick search on Google (or some such…i prefer Yahoo myself) for ‘Republic of Ireland golf team’ and other closely associated words turns up nothing, which confirms my original thought that the ROI don’t actually have a Golf team (as such).
    Not knowing much about golf, as a general rule it appears that most Golf games just involve individual players and not country based internationals as per many other sports. With the exception of tournaments like the Ryder Cup.

    As for ‘naming conventions’ i would be grateful if you could enlighten me as to what error i have made? The only 3 i named where GB, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland? What inaccuracies have i made?

    In the Olympic games (which is what this thread is all about) Rory has the choice (if he is selected) to represent either GB & Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland.
    Is that incorrect in some way?
    I can only repeat my original point..he is from Northern Ireland. So he represents Northern Ireland. Still simple.

  33. JM — You need to contact Rory and tell him the good news, because on last night’s show he said “I’m from Northern Ireland. If I could play for Northern Ireland I would.”

  34. I would surmise that Rory is well aware that the Olympic teams full title is Team GB & Northern Ireland.

    It should be Team UK (a debate for another day perhaps) so i fail to understand how or why he is ‘conflicted’.
    If selected he WILL be representing Northern Ireland?

  35. My elderly, dementia struck mother-in-law loves watching golf. Spends entire weekends refilling hot cups of tea while surfing espn golf tournaments.

    All of the average people I know who regularly golf belong to private clubs costing between $12K and $25K a year.

    I doubt many truly “average people” can afford the daily fees on great courses. Living a life traveling on the business tit might skew one’s perspective.

  36. Maybe so, but we live over here.

    Dear man, you and I are living well above the average american income. Stellar golf courses aren’t part and parcel for most of our countrymen.

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