Ozil Quits German National team, Citing Racism

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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The picture with Erdogan reflected poor judgement and I don't buy his rationale for that.

But, ultimately, many footballers do similar dumb shit without creating a firestorm of controversy. And the world of football writ large has no basis to call out an individual player for supporting an authoritarian leader (even a thug like Erdogan) given that the last World Cup was in Russia, the next one is in Qatar, and two of the biggest clubs in the world are owned by autocratic petrostates. Football sold out its political integrity long ago, Ozil giving a jersey to Erdogan is the least of the game's problems in this regard.

The much more important issue regards how the racism inherent to how issue was politicized and how he was made a scapegoat for the team's failings. And I think he is absolutely right to call out the cowardly German authorities for not coming to his defense or for actively fanning the flames.
 
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Dernells Casket n Flagon

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PedroSpecialK

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Despite my drive-by, I think we're in agreement - I shouldn't have posted a glib one-liner given the nuances of the situation, I was getting pulled into a meeting and hit 'post' without really thinking about it / developing my thoughts further. That's my bad.

I think the Erdoğan photo is unfortunate at best, and a really poor decision not to decline at worst. Emre Can for instance declined the invitation - but footballers as you note aren't immune to being put in these situations. Last month in Russia, Mo Salah was put in such a predicament by the Egyptian FA by being forced to noted subhuman Ramzan Kadyrov. I can see why Özil felt he was under some obligation to take the photo when one (IMO) didn't exist.

Separately, any poor decision by Özil in taking the photo with Erdoğan doesn't remotely excuse the nationalist garbage levied at Özil by German media, nor should it have made Özil the focal point for a disappointing result for the WC campaign... one for which Özil led the tournament with 5.5 chances created / 90.

Overall, while the decision to take the photo / accept the invitation wasn't well thought out IMO, the treatment Özil received in his own country is much more reprehensible, and he should be applauded for his decision.
 

twoBshorty

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Uli can climb down off his horse. He's a cheat and a thief who is in a position to criticize no one else's behavior. Bayern should never have allowed him back.

And here's the response from Ozil's agent.
 

Merkle's Boner

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This seems to me to be a massive story. I realize Ozil isn’t the greatest German player, but to have a top player quit the national team because of racism is pretty nuts. It’s tough to find an apt comparison to American sports but I would imagine things would be pretty insane if say, Draymond Green (or anyone else) said he refused to play for the US Olympic basketball team because he was sick of the racist shit he was having to endure.
 

PedroSpecialK

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Cem Özdemir sums it up well:


Translated:
Özil's photo remains wrong & his explanation is not convincing. At least as disastrous is the acting of the DFB leadership. #Grindel hacks up our history of integration. Do they want to see young German Turks playing for Erdogan soon? DFB needs a fresh start # özil