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

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

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

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