Only A Game? - Jeremey Corbyn, God Save the Queen and James McClean

Newly elected leader of the Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn (left) and Republic of Ireland and West Bromwich Albion footballer, James McClean.
Newly elected leader of the Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn (left) and Republic of Ireland and West Bromwich Albion footballer, James McClean.

Love them or loathe them, national anthems are part of life.

I personally find the idea that one song can capture a country’s Zeitgeist to be absolutely ludicrous.

The song might reflect the beliefs of many people within a particular country but it doesn’t encapsulate an entire people.

How many times have you watched the Republic of Ireland team sing Amhrán na bhFiann before a football match?

Not all of the players sing the national anthem and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

If players don’t feel comfortable singing a particular country’s national anthem it shouldn’t stop them from representing that country.

Personally, sticking the ball in the back of the net is a much more patriotic and a better sign of where your heart is than mouthing the words of a song that you don’t agree with or understand.

Modern society is much more multi-cultural and diverse than it was when most national anthems were written.

History and culture is important and it should not be forgotten or disrespected but it’s utterly ridiculous to expect a young boy born in Ireland to Polish parents who moved here in 1990s to sing the Irish national anthem.

There are more people than ever living and working in countries all over the world who, for one reason or another, have no desire to sing the national anthem of that country.

It would be a bit like asking a vegetarian to come up with a plan to make fillet steaks more appealing to meat eaters

Andrew Quinn

Earlier this week, new Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, suffered the wrath of the intolerant ultra right-wing British Press.

Mr. Corbyn attended a memorial service to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

As the British national anthem was played at the end of the service, Mr. Corbyn and everyone else, stood up but Mr. Corbyn took the decision not to sing the national anthem and for this he was vilified.

I find it incredulous that some people, who supposedly advocate the right of someone to exercise free speech. can attack someone like Jeremy Corbyn for doing just that.

Mr. Corbyn suffered the same fate as Derry’s James McClean who, during a friendly for West Bromwich Albion, did face in the same direction as his team mates during a rendition of ‘God Save the Queen’.

Mr. Corbyn is a dyed-in-the-wool republican and atheist, why would he sing a song about God and the Queen of the England? It would be a bit like asking a vegetarian to come up with a plan to make fillet steaks more appealing to meat eaters.

It’s the same with sports men and women like James McClean. If they feel they are not comfortable with doing or saying something they shouldn’t be made to.

Nationalism and so-called patriotism are, at times, utterly contrived.

I love it when so called nationalists attempt to shame someone into singing a national anthem by saying ‘our ancestors fought and died so that you could have a choice’ and then when a person decides to invoke their right to make a choice they get angry.

Do these people not see how utterly stupid they are?

If 59,999 people inside a football stadium want to sing to a national anthem they should be allowed to do but if one person would prefer not to then what’s wrong with that?