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Team GB could be rebranded Team UK as part of ‘muscular unionism’ strategy

15 Aug 2021 2 minutes Read
Team GB lollies and biscuits. Image: Ewen Roberts (CC BY 2.0)

UK prime minister Boris Johnson is believed to be discussing a rebrand of Team GB to Team UK in a bid to boost the Union.

A senior Whitehall source is quoted as saying the name change would ‘better reflect our commitment to the Union, which includes Northern Ireland.”

It’s part of a wider ‘muscular unionism’ strategy adopted by the UK Government as an attempt to prevent the future break-up of the UK.

The Times reports a Whitehall source as saying: “Team UK would be far more inclusive than Team GB and would better reflect our commitment to the Union, which includes Northern Ireland.”

As Great Britain only covers Wales, Scotland and England, the current Team GB name excludes Northern Ireland.

The official title is ‘Great Britain and Northern Ireland Olympic team’ but since 1999 the British Olympic Association (BOA) has been using ‘Team GB’.

Union Jack

The ‘muscular unionism’ approach has been seen in Wales with the UK Government’s plans to place a 100 foot high Union Jack on the side of a Cardiff city-centre building.

It’s believed that UK Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has been consulting with Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis over the potential Team GB change.

The BOA issued a statement in 2016 after receiving complaints about the use of Team GB saying: “The British Olympic Association is the National Olympic Committee for Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and the UK Overseas Territories (including the Falkland Islands and Gibraltar).

“As such, neither ‘UK’ or ‘GB’ accurately describes the BOA’s remit.”

They said that due to the complications, they had settled on the ‘Team GB’ brand as being the most appropriate.

Wales has experienced similar issues with its treatment by the English cricket authorities.

While the official name for the sport’s governing body is the ‘England and Wales Cricket Board’, the full title is rarely used and it’s officially referred to as the ‘ECB’.

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GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
1 month ago

Is that how Boris Gump sees people? Thinks a name change is going to wipe out hundreds of years of suppression and disrespect overnight? Idiot.

Vaughan
Vaughan
1 month ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

That’s exactly how he sees them.

Martyn Vaughan
1 month ago

That would mean the team could not include the Isle of Man or Channel Islands.

CJPh
CJPh
1 month ago

Luckily, almost all the most popular sports (team sports) in our little corner of Europe have separate national representation – rugby and football being the most notable. Then we have cricket – despite not being able to claim that cricket in unpopular in Wales, there does seem to be a difference in how we here in Cymru digest it at entertainment. We don’t, save for those who are actually into cricket. Both soccer (I’m from a place where that’s what many of us call it, sue me) and rugby attract fair-weather fans who’ll pop a match on the TV in… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by CJPh
Cynan
Cynan
1 month ago

I’m a part of Team Too Late Don’t Care Free Cymru

Cynan
Cynan
1 month ago

For GB, read England
For UK, read England

Sir Paganus Bullingdon-Schytte
Sir Paganus Bullingdon-Schytte
1 month ago

With Afghanistan collapsing following our betrayal of that nation, Coronovirus and Brexit still causing havoc and shortages and this septic isle being more divided than it has since the time of Alfred the Cake Burner, is renaming a sporting team REALLY the most important thing on the Kakistocrat leader’s radar?

Llywelyn ein Llyw Nesaf
Llywelyn ein Llyw Nesaf
1 month ago

Probably.

After all, he can’t go any further with bunging our cash to his chums as they haven’t had time to finish laundering the last lot yet. It’s not just HGV drivers and fruit-pickers we’re short of, dodgy accountants are getting hard to find as well.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
1 month ago

The Tories are showing their desperation ever more openly. As their emphasis on the “Red Wall”, levelling up and muscular unionism grows their southern “Blue Wall” is crumbling.

This flag waving jingoism is beginning to depress people at both ends of the political spectrum. The only reason Johnson and his cabinet of the inept survives is because they win elections. London and Metropolitan elections take place next year, they could well be his nemesis.

David Smith
David Smith
1 month ago

So NI athletes I assume will lose their right to compete for Ireland as part of this move. Yes, that will end well!

David Smith
David Smith
1 month ago

For ‘Muscular Unionism’, read ‘Heavy Hand’. They tried it in Ireland a century ago, didn’t end well did it? It’s the behavioural pattern of an abusive relationship writ large; alternate cycles of love-bombing, pleading, promises to change, and the strong arm. Utterly pathetic and transparent. You have to be thick not to see it.

Llywelyn ein Llyw Nesaf
Llywelyn ein Llyw Nesaf
1 month ago

“Muscular unionism” = big bully next door. But remember who won in the shoot-out between David and Goliath

Cynan
Cynan
1 month ago

This “Muscular Unionism” thing reminds me of all those eternally breathing in fat blokes who want to convince you that their fat is muscle

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
1 month ago

Too little, too late and a wait of time now anyway. No amount of renaming this or renaming that is going to change centuries of disrespect and neglect by Westminster. If real change was on offer it would mean a total acceptance of Wales as a separate country with the money to bring the country on level terms with London and the south east. That will never happen – so we are better off out.

Nick
Nick
1 month ago

Team UK = Team YUK!

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