Everyone by now knows that Mesut Özil has hung up his boots with the German National team. I’ll be the first to admit I have criticized his play more than once, but I have also watched in awe at some of the things he’s done on the pitch. So many people loved to hate him, and hated to love him. But after a disappointing World Cup campaign it seems his play isn’t why he’s decided to bow out…
Özil was born in Gelsenkirchen, at the time West Germany, and is a Third generation Turkish-German. So, three generations in you would think being called anything but German would seem a little off, or even being called an immigrant after being born in Germany would certainly make you think…Despite all this Özil has been the subject of abuse from fans, reporters, and even politicians because he still cares and is involved with Turkish matters. He has been used as a scapegoat for Germany’s early exit from the World Cup after posing for a picture he took with the Turkish President. What’s really confusing to me about this is, he has taken many pictures with the president dating back to 2009, but until now they have never seemed to be a problem.
I can say it a million times politics doesn’t belong in sports, but it’s a sad reality that we as people face, no matter the country you live in. However, ask yourself this, if Kroos, Müller, Kimmich, or Reus took a picture with another diplomat do you think they would fall under this abuse and be being destroyed by the media and fans alike.
Of course the German Federation denies all of Özil’s claims, is anyone really that shocked. I want you to ask yourself another question though. Why would five time German player of the year, German ambassador of football, German World Cup winner, and multiple other German awards winner, make up a claim that he was subject to racism by the German federation. What is in it for him, what would he gain by calling people out, it just doesn’t make any sense. A team he has given his everything for to become a world champion, and a team that he has called his brothers for years. What does Mesut stand to gain?
Written by: Glenn Lorance