You would have to have a hardened heart not to have felt for Andy Murray on waking up this morning. This is a man who wears his heart on his sleeve and bravely isn’t afraid to show it. His authenticity and courage has warmed a nation’s heart. Yet Andy Murray has had a checkered history with the media.
He’s been described in the past as boring, petulant, sulky and worse. But Wimbledon in 2012 changed all that. That’s when he lost to Federer in his first final and shed tears of crushing disappointment into his towel. If we had once cast him as cold, aloof and (for the media agenda anyway) personality free, we changed our minds in that moment. This was a man who didn’t care for a stiff upper lip. He was authentic to his core and wasn’t afraid to show it. For that we salute him.
Today with his career all but over, he was overcome with emotion again. This isn’t a man showing a best face forward to attract the best of brands and TV commentary slots. This is a man who isn’t going to compromise his feelings for any agenda. He had very little to say, but his emotion said it all. This man is a champion of authenticity as well as the elite sporting stage, and his greatest impact may well be yet to come. He has spoken out for equality, shown us decency, values and how utter dedication pays dividends.
Today he became a role model for the next generation if he wasn’t already and it’s the future that counts. He has given men permission to cry and show their emotion. Maybe it was the immensity of the raw emotion he saw first as a child in Dunblane that shaped his bravery and his quietly respectful demeanor and dedication. Who knows?
What we do know is that Andy Murray is a champion on and off the court, and he may not see it today, but I suspect in time he will see how his tears shaped a new way forward inspiring change and new thinking around equality and empathy.