Why I will I not be taking part in the minute’s applause for the Queen ahead of Scotland v Ukraine at Hampden - Stephen Mcilkenny
It is a move that has been met with backlash almost two weeks after her death, with many expressing their opposition to what feels like an own goal from the SFA.
I for one feel the announcement is a step too far, and will not be taking part in the applause. Indeed I urge all Scotland fans attending to sit or stand in a moment of silence, or to turn their back.
Now before I go on, let me explain that this has nothing to do with being opposed to the monarchy or the Queen. Indeed you can be opposed to a monarchy but still acknowledge and be respectful to someone who has died following a remarkable service to their country.
Football fans and players, like those across the world of sport, have paid their respects. Since her death there has been a round of league games, cup games and even a round of cancelled games. We have seen countless minutes of applause, minutes of silence and more, all in respect for the Queen around Scotland and the UK.
The nation has also paid its respects with a state funeral, queues miles long to see the former monarch in state in both London and Edinburgh and numerous national minutes of silence observed throughout the last two weeks.
But now the official period of mourning has ended and it is time to move on.
I will not be taking part in the minute’s applause tonight.
My decision to not partake in yet another tribute is not meant to be disrespectful to the Queen, but rather a stance against the virtue signalling of a minute’s applause in her memory whilst we are playing a nation ravaged by warfare and the wrath of Vladimir Putin’s forces.
I cannot in good conscience sit and applaud the memory of a 96-year-old while we play a nation who just last week saw children being pulled from mass graves in Izyum. The thought of clapping for a former monarch while Ukrainians, who have been displaced from their homes as a result of an illegal invasion, watch on, is frankly nauseating.
A football game that will be watched by millions of people should be used to highlight and support those displaced and those fighting, living and dying in Ukraine. We should be having a minute's silence for those Ukrainian’s taken by the horrors of war, for those taken crudely and unmercifully at the hands of Kremlin forces.
Tonight, while I will be silent and turn away, I know many will boo. Although she was a patron of the SFA, the period of mourning is over, and the SFA need to accept that the likely negative headlines around the minute’s applause will be of their own making.
Therefore I urge all of those attending to instead fall silent in a moment of reflection for those in Ukraine. And I ask the SFA to reconsider their tone deaf decision.