Racism overshadowed Ozil in Germany, but at Arsenal, a season of magic awaits

It was also that summer that my obsession began with Ozil

His creativity and pace defined German football but his relentlessness and commitment defined why I fell in love with the sport

The five-time German Player of the Year, who has earned 92 caps for his country and assisted a record of 40 goals, however, hung up his black and white shirt

Scapegoated by German media for the team’s recent performance in Russia, racially abused by the German Football Federation’s President and disowned by many of his sponsor partners, Ozil said, “Enough is enough

” https://twitter

com/MesutOzil1088/status/1020984884431638528 https://twitter

com/MesutOzil1088/status/1021017944745226242 https://twitter

com/MesutOzil1088/status/1021093637411700741 To delve into the politics of it all is something that I do not want to do

To disagree with the politics that he propagated, is one thing

To use that to cross a line and use a player’s lineage and religion against him is another

“When we win, I’m German

When we lose, I’m an immigrant

” The damning words used by Ozil in his open letter echo those of other immigrant football players

“When I score I’m French, when I don’t I’m an Arab,” France’s Karim Benzema said

In the same vein, Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku has spoken about how when the national team wins he’s Belgian, but when they lose he is a Belgium player of Congolese descent

For Ozil, this has been nothing new

In his autobiography Gunning for Greatness, he spoke about his childhood and how during football trials someone with a German name would be chosen over him, even if they were not necessarily better than him

Ozil has fought racism at the grassroots level to get where he is

This is what makes Ozil’s stand even more powerful

Ridiculous to even think that racism persists at the highest level of German football and is the reason why one of the most talented players of our generation has been forced to hang up his international jersey


com/Durchiga/status/1021099084432670720 Ozil has always been an introverted player, both on and off the field

However, he has always been committed to bettering others

On the field, he does that with his feet

Off the field, he has started a worldwide dialogue on racism and refused to stand by and take the injustice

What hurts the most is his lonely farewell

Having worn the Germany jersey for over nine years, one would expect Ozil’s German teammates to come out and speak against what Ozil has faced

To realise that this is bigger than football

Resignations of Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Lukas Podolski saw a flood of social media messages by their German teammates

In Ozil’s case, there has been mainly radio silence

The French Football Team’s recent World Cup win raised the issue of immigrant players and dual identity in the 21st century

Many of the World Cup winning squad have an immigrant heritage to an extent that comedian Trevor Noah congratulated Africa on its World Cup win

The comment led to a spar between Noah and the French ambassador who said the players belonged to France and reflected the diversity of the country

“I watch what politicians say about African migrants when they are unemployed, when they may commit a crime, or when they’re considered unsavoury, they are ‘African immigrants’,” Noah added

However, “when their children go on to provide a World Cup victory for France, we should only refer to it as France”


com/TheDailyShow/status/1019751037853241344 This echoes the sentiments of Ozil, Lukaku, Benzema and any other player who has faced discrimination for their immigrant background

Only when they win, are they included into the team

When they are losing, their immigrant background makes the headlines

As my favourite football player hangs up his international jersey, I am hit with a gulf of sadness that I will not see him play on the international stage again

However, already a World Cup winner and five-time German Player of the Year, his retirement only solidifies his legacy

A man committed to better the lives of young immigrant players; he has started a dialogue on the false narratives peddled against immigrant players like him


com/MarianaKa2/status/1021110327281422337 His genius may be overshadowed by the racism in Germany, but at Arsenal, I can sense a season of magic awaits



Date:29-Jul-2018 Reference:View Original Link