July 23, 2018

Mesut Özil is leaving the German National Football Team over DFB's reaction to a photo he took with Turkish President Recep Erdogan in May.: Mesut Özil tweeted a three-part statement Sunday regarding the photo incident, his Turkish heritage, and the backlash he has received--particularly from DFB President Reinhard Grindel. He concluded, "It is with a heavy heart and after much consideration that because of recent events, I will no longer be playing for Germany at international level whilst I have this feeling of racism and disrespect. I used to wear the German shirt with such pride and excitement, but now I don't."

posted by bender to soccer at 01:27 PM - 4 comments

This doesn't seem surprising as there was talk of his apparent lack of enthusiasm playing for the national team in the WC due to this sort of thing.

I don't know how much backlash he'll face playing in the EPL. He'll find out soon enough, or maybe this will be somewhat forgotten in a month's time.

I would have advised him against taking the photo with Erdogan. There are a number of national leaders one would currently want to avoid being associated with. Erdogan is certainly one of them. We've got the same issue here.

posted by beaverboard at 02:14 PM on July 23, 2018

The article I read mentioned the consequences to friends and family in Turkey for athletes and celebs who refuse to play ball with Erdogan. I don't think refusing was realistic. And if you read his rant, the head of the German FA certainly seems to be pushing his own brand of racially-based politics on this. I don't blame Ozil.

posted by billsaysthis at 07:11 PM on July 23, 2018

We need to stop labeling those at the top of our political systems "Leaders" because so very few of these people provide any tangible leadership whatsoever. "Governors" is a better description.

Germany is really going to miss Ozil. Nobody would/will miss Grindel.

posted by cixelsyd at 11:45 AM on July 24, 2018

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