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Mesut Ozil Resigns From International Football Citing Islamophobia, Bigotry, & Racism “I Am German When We Win, I Am an Immigrant When We Lose”

by in World on 23rd July, 2018

Footballer Mesut Ozil,  born, raised, and educated in Germany but originally from Turkey has resigned from his position in international football. The well-known footballer and Arsenal midfielder announced his resignation on Twitter yesterday with a 3 part statement detailing why and how he came to this decision.

In his three-part statement, he details his treatment after taking a picture with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. “Whilst I grew up in Germany my family background firmly has its roots based in Turkey. I have two hearts one German, and one Turkish.”

He explains when and where he first met the Turkish president, in London in 2010. After taking a picture with him, it caused a negative backlash from the German media, “for me, it wasn’t about elections or votes, it was about respecting the highest office in my families country. My job is a football player, not a politician, Our meeting was not an endorsement of any policies. For me it didn’t matter who was president, it mattered that it was the president.”

He explains his fruitful career playing in, “three of the toughest leagues in the world.” However goes on to state how often he is criticised within the media, for his skills, and accepts he may not be the best footballer but goes on to explain his difficulty in reconciling how the conversation turns to his dual heritage. “What I can’t accept is the German media outlets repeatedly blaming my dual heritage and a simple picture for a bad world cup on behalf of an entire squad.” Deeming the attacks from the German media, as using right-wing  propaganda, to further their political cause.”

He further cites another key honourary German player, Lothar Matthaus, who in the same fashion met with a world leader a few years back, “received almost no media criticism.”  He asks if his Turkish heritage makes him any more of a worthy target?

He further explains how partnerships had been severed ever since the picture was taken, particularly from his old school where he grew up, to which he was supposed to make an appearance. Ozil further explains how partnerships and campaigns came to a halt swiftly after, as he was asked to take part in promotional videos for the World Cup which he was quickly taken out of and, “cancelled all promotional activities scheduled.”

The footballer also references partnerships that have stayed loyal to him naming Adidas, Beats, and Bigshoe. He explains how this doesn’t just impact him and his career, but children who he had helped receive surgeries in Russia through Bigshoe. The third part of his statement details his abhorrent treatment from the DFB (the German Football Association) and its president Reinhard Grindel.

“My friends Lukas Podolsky and Miroslav Klose are never referred to as German-polish, why am I German-Turkish, Is it because it is Turkey? is it because I’m a Muslim?”

The Statement

What Twitter had to say

Hanan

Hanan

Hanan has a Masters in Media in the Middle East from SOAS University. Trainee of the Muslim Women in Media institute Annual Cohort at UC Davis, California. Her interests lie in ethical fashion, modern-day slavery, and when not making Youtube videos she is somewhere in between Ballet and Kickboxing. King Julian is her spirit animal.