Tennis star Andy Murray appears to back Scottish independence
London: Scottish tennis ace Andy Murray on Thursday appeared to lend his support to independence on polling day and condemned negative tactics by the "No" camp in a tweet that quickly went viral. "Huge day for Scotland today! 'No' campaign negativity last few days totally swayed my view on it. Excited to see the outcome. Let's do this!" read the tweet on his account @andy_murray.
The last exclamation echoes the one used by pro-independence leader Alex Salmond in a fiery final campaign speech in Perth on Wednesday before polls for the historic vote opened on Thursday. "Don't let them tell us we can't. Let's do this now," Salmond said. Murray's message was re-tweeted more than 11,000 times, including by Salmond himself, and became a top story on British media sites.
Glasgow-born Murray, 27, who is Britain's number one tennis player and won Wimbledon last year, does not live in Scotland and therefore cannot vote himself. He divides his time between London and the United States. Currently number 12 in the global rankings, Murray was beaten in the quarter-finals of the US Open earlier this month by world number one Novak Djokovic.
Murray stirred controversy in 2006 when he responded "anyone but England" when asked who he would support in the World Cup, and has avoided making his views known on independence. Last month he told reporters in the United States: "If Scotland became independent, then I imagine I would be playing for Scotland." His brother, Jamie Murray, also a professional tennis player, was more explicit about his support for a "Yes" vote.
"Love UK... Love the Royals... but it's time for Scotland to stand on its own 2 feet and control their own destiny," he tweeted. "Scotland is full of smart talented hard working humble people. Have faith in them to run our country successfully," he said.