As Bermuda have two athletes bidding to make the final cut for the Great Britain’s London Olympics Basketball team, the time to start worrying if it will be worth it is something that Jenaya Wade-Fray and Sullivan Phillips will be thinking if they read an article that was posted in the England newspaper The Sun that begins Delano Williams is set to be the latest ‘Plastic Brit’.
The Sun Article goes on to read Williams plans to compete in the Olympic trials — just weeks after being granted British citizenship.
Williams, 18, from the Turks and Caicos Islands — a British territory in the West Indies — has already achieved the Olympic ‘A’ qualifying standard in the 200m.
He clocked 20.53sec and must now finish in the top three at the trials in June. And Williams is confident he can book his place in the British team — re-igniting the ‘Plastic Brits’ debate.
He insisted: “I was excited when I got the passport. I should be one of those who make the Olympic team.”
The Turks and Caicos Islands do not have their own Olympic team.
But Williams was eligible for a British passport as a resident of the British overseas territory.”
It is with much bemusement that the debate about 'Plastic Brits' – a horrible phrase – has been raised in England.
Here is a country on the eve of the biggest global stage, having thrown off the "poor us" attitudes and replaced decades-old sporting pessimism with thriving determined winning mindsets, only to have an irrational fear raise its ugly head.
So what is it about athletes who have passed citizenship tests and – in the case of those outside of the European Union – particularly stringent UK immigration laws that have provoked such anxiety?
If athletes have been accepted into the country – pay taxes and celebrate life here, why are they being vilified and treated as a second-tier individual, somehow not worthy of representing the country?
Why are they being judged about their accents and their motivations, amidst bizarre claims they are taking a 'real Briton's' spot.
No doubt the Olympics are a nationalistic chestbeating exercise and a chance for medal tallies to be seized upon by the country as a justification of the National Lottery funding, but querying the credentials of those who compete under the Union flag as if sport is above and beyond other citizenship tests is certainly extreme.