Via a statement that appeared to absolve Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, his teammates and the larger Arsenal community of fans of blame – thus leaving only the ‘higher-ups’ uncovered; this is the story of Mesut Ozil the sacrificial lamb.
Outcast Arsenal star Mesut Ozil left little doubt on the reasons behind the mystery of being left out of the English Premier League giant’s official league squad. Speculation had been rife that the German World Cup winner was out in the cold in part because of his public stand, ‘Muslim Lives Matter‘, on alleged persecution of Uighur Muslims and Turkish Muslim minorities in 2019 in Xinjiang, China.
A stand that was reportedly ‘bad for business’ forcing Arsenal Football Club to post on it’s Weibo account its reiterated stand of ‘no involvement in politics’. Still, going by Ozil’s statement, that wasn’t enough.
Birds of a feather?
On the flip side, the Arsenal star (as we partly covered on this 2018 FIFA World Cup story on football and power) has been lambasted for his dalliance cum bromance with the President of Turkey Tayyip Erdogan. President Edrogan continues to battle accusations of dictatorship and subjugation of his own people.
Mesut Ozil the sacrificial lamb is happy to pose pictures with him. As a result, some sections of the Arsenal fanbase and commentators have accused Ozil of calling the kettle black; worse on such a grave issue; sadly, for cheap publicity.
In his defense, the latter embers of Ozil’s career has been about the star lending his gravitas to worthy causes worldwide. Consider his much publicized retirement from international football when Ozil used his announcement to ostracize the German Football Association for systemic racism. Remember, this was way back before the ‘lives matter’ protests came mainstream.
Mesut Ozil the sacrificial lamb at the alter of the Premier League’s thirst for the Chinese market? Be the judge…
This is a difficult message to write to the Arsenal fans that I’ve played for over the past few years. I’m really deeply disappointed by the fact that I have not been registered for the Premier League season for the time being. Upon signing my new contract in 2018, I pledged my allegiance and loyalty to the club that I love, Arsenal, and it saddens me that this has not been reciprocated. As I have just found out, loyalty is hard to come by nowadays. I have always tried to be positive from week to week that there’s maybe a chance to get back in the squad soon again. That’s why I kept silent so far.
Before the Coronavirus break, I was really happy with the development under our new coach Mikel Arteta – we’ve been in a positive way and I would say my performances were on a really good level. But then things changed, again, and I was no longer allowed to play football for Arsenal.
What else can I say? London still feels like home, I still have many good friends in this team, and I still feel a strong connection with the fans of this club. No matter what, I will keep fighting for my chance and not let my 8th season at Arsenal end like this. I can promise you that this hard decision won’t change anything in my mindset – I will continue to train as best as I can and wherever possible use my voice against inhumanity and for justice.Mesut Ozil statement released on 21st October of 2020 via his social media accounts
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