There’s a World Cup going on, apparently. England are doing well, so I’ve heard. People have spoken and written about how the success of a country in a sporting event brings the nation together. The team does well, especially when they weren’t expected to do as well, and the sense of pride and belonging sees folks putting out the flags and singing songs about things coming home and laughing at it all.
As long as you toe the line, things are fine. As long as you smile and chant, you’re a part of us. Are you as welcome if you’re not as enthusiastic? Do you belong if the whole thing leaves you rather apathetic?
Worse still, what if you actively want the opposition to win because you’re a little sick and tired of the whole thing? Or because although you want your country to do well in cricket, you support something else when it comes to another sport?
Is there room to be accepted and disagree?
How are we accepted and yet don’t feel like we belong? What does that mean?
That’s not primarily something I’m considering about sporting issues. It’s more a question of what a community looks like.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden