Discussion in 'Football Forum' started by OutlawGER, Jul 22, 2018.
You clearly didn't get the memo. We now attribute just about everything to racism nowadays.
From the WSJ:
BERLIN—A fierce debate about identity and integration is escalating in Germany following the resignation of an ethnic Turkish soccer star from the national team over what he deemed “racism and disrespect.”
Mesut Ozil, born in Germany to Turkish immigrant parents, was one of the most prominent players in a celebrated national squad that won the 2014 World Cup. His decision to quit, laid out on Twitter on Sunday evening, is dominating national news, reflecting the tension gripping the country since the 2015 migration crisis brought one million asylum seekers to Germany and fueled a surge in far-right politics.
Germany’s soul-searching coincides with a wider discussion sparked on the soccer field about what it means to be European, notably in France, where a team of players of mostly immigrant origin sailed to victory in this year’s World Cup.
The 29-year-old soccer star, who also plays for England’s Arsenal team, accused soccer authorities and some media and politicians of racism after facing months of criticism for meeting Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a controversial figure in Germany because of his crackdown on political opponents.
Mr. Ozil and fellow player Ilkay Gundogan met Mr. Erdogan in May at a hotel in London for a photo session in which they gave their jerseys to the Turkish leader. Mr. Gundogan, also a German citizen, wrote on his jersey “for my president, with great respect.” The meeting took place during the campaign for June general elections in Turkey.
It ignited a heated discussion about the loyalty of national team players with immigrant roots, spilling over into a broader debate in the country of 82 million—including more than three million Turks—about the role of Islam and whether immigrants can be truly German. Top politicians have embraced migrant communities in recent years, but Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to open the doors to thousands of asylum seekers has ratcheted up tensions.
Mr. Ozil had been the subject of a similar, if less heated, controversy when he refused to sing the German national anthem on the soccer field.
“I have two hearts, one German and one Turkish…for me, having a picture with President Erdogan wasn’t about politics or elections. It was about me respecting the highest office of my family’s country,” Mr. Ozil wrote in his Twitter statement.
He said politicians and commentators were expressing their “previously hidden racist tendencies” and added that he would have such a picture taken again. “Whether it had been the Turkish or the German president, my actions would’ve been no different,” Mr. Ozil wrote.
The soccer star also poured vitriol on one of his sponsors, the car maker Daimler AG , which, he said, withdrew its support in the aftermath of the scandal. Daimler said it was looking into the allegations.
But his harshest criticism was reserved for Reinhard Grindel, the president of the German football association or DFB, which is in charge of the national team.
“In the eyes of Grindel and his supporters, I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose,” he wrote.
DFB said it regretted the resignation but rejected the claims of racism.
Mr. Ozil’s statement echoed a June complaint by the Belgian soccer star Romelu Lukaku, who said that when he was winning the press referred to him as a “Belgian striker,” while when the team lost he was described as a “Belgian striker of Congolese descent.”
Political reaction to Mr. Ozil’s decision was divided. A spokesman for Ms, Merkel, who appeared in a widely distributed photo with Mr. Ozil following the 2014 World Cup victory, said she “appreciates him very much.”
“Mesut Ozil is a great player and his decision must be respected,” the spokeswoman said.
But others were more critical. “With all respect for the family roots, national players must be ready to accept criticism when they allow themselves to be used for election campaigning,” said the German government’s integration commissioner Annette Widmann-Mauz.
Cem Ozdemir, the most prominent ethnic Turkish politician in Germany and former leader of the Green Party, levied criticism on both sides.
“Ozil’s photo remains wrong and his explanation is unconvincing,” he tweeted. But “Grindel is tearing to pieces our integration success. Do they want young German Turks to play for Erdogan soon?”
Germany and Turkey have been locked in a diplomatic dispute since Berlin rejected Mr. Erdogan’s bid to hold election rallies in the country. The majority of Turks in Germany who voted in recent polls supported Mr. Erdogan.
Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul congratulated Mr. Ozil on his resignation, which he deemed “the most beautiful goal against the fascist virus.”
Uli is a great diplomat isn't he?
The majority of Turks in Germany who voted in recent polls supported Mr. Erdogan.
I think this is an important thing missed out.
I think this is a really important point as I think immigrants to any advanced democracy can relate to this. When its something good its part of the majority culture, but if there is anything not perfect then the hyphenated-asterisk disclaimers come into play. It reminds me of the point Trevor Noah made just this week regarding the French Ambassador
The French Ambassador and many of these DFB/German officials really don't get it.
At this point he's just an asshole with barely any redeeming qualities. It's a shame really that he was allowed to return to the club. It really doesn't matter how important he was to the rise of Bayern as an elite club, he's nothing more than an embarrassement now and his comments truely are the icing on this incredibly huge cake of feckups by everyone involved with German football.
I do believe Özil deserved to be criticised for his meeting with Erdogan and the fact that he was abused by a few racist assholes and that this whole mess was used for right wing propaganda doesn't change that. But it's gone so far over the top, it's beyond insane.
How Bierhoff, Grindel and Löw are still in charge of anything related to German football is beyond me. All three need to go, now.
As brilliant as it was to support Bayern and Germany 4-5 years ago, as awful it has become in the past few months. And it's not because of the lack of success. It just has become impossible to look past the politics and stupidity. It's truely sad.
Well nothing is worse than having 50 ultras assaulting your Academy and beating up your players and all the Soap Opera who followed that, but I see what you mean, when Politics mixes with Football it turns into poison.
@oneniltothearsenal Can you explain what they don't understand?
I think the relentlessly rude, outspoken former legends do more damage to Germany's public image than anything Ozil has said or done. It's like an old boys network of gobby, big-headed twats.
His Hoeness hath speaketh.
Trevor Noah did better than I could. Just listen to that video its only 8 minutes
I don t blame Mesut, but he got a bit played by Erdogan.
I know what he said but he didn't needed to say anything to know there is always hypocrisy regarding players, integration, migrants, origin of the players.
But that is equal to polititians and political activists who always ty to bring politics regarding any event, so don't think Trevor Noah is above anyone else regarding this subject.
Just my opinion.
It is much wiser for Ozil to release his first twitter I/III right after the photo with Erdogan than remain silent. He let the whole situation escalated.
While you are right that the hyphens are highlighted only when something goes wrong (why was Griezmann never called half German when he was part of the night out that saw M'villa get the boot and why does he never cop flak for his undignified crotch grabbing video game celebrations when Pogba is apparently a dabbing youtuber?) but the
trouble is the reaction when Igor Stimac says the same thing the people preaching diversity start frothing at the mouth. Trevor Noah says it, it's fine because hey oh - Diversity is great and if you disagree you are literally H------------.
Yes, we all know where Stimac is coming from and we know where Noah is coming from. One wants to infer that France isn't really 'french' (read white) and the other wants to score cheap political brownie points with his lobotomized audience. But these players were born in France, they were coached in the French academies, by French coaches, they play for European clubs with European managers and coaches. That they happen to be black or brown skinned is irrelevant. The real victory is for French coaching. In the same way the Senegal 2002 run is probably more a victory for French coaching since virtually all of those players played for French academies and later clubs. If you accept Noah's point you must also concede to Stimac. After all what is the 'African' victory here? The melanin content of the skin? But their black skin didn't win them the trophy, coaching and performances did.
You know Trevor Noah is a comedian and his comments were not meant to be taken literally right? Noah even addresses this exact criticism in his comments - context matters.
Ah, the cop out argument of any comedian who is called out.
Its not a cop out. As I said, he even explained that in the video and I mentioned it again. Context matters. It different context with very different intent as far the speech act is concerned.
Did you watch the video?
Some valid points made here. The only thing I would like to point out that is underestimated is the household upbringing. As one born and bred to in Britain to Nigerian parents, this has played a massive role in my mentality and approach to life. Regardless if I have had all my education and majority of life experiences in Britain, the cultural upbringing (food, family ties, tradition, language) makes me different from the stereotypical "British". That's why I personally could never attribute any success in my life to only Britain. I think a good proportion 2nd, 3rd generation etc ethnic minorities feel this way as well.
Yes, he changed the argument from 'Africa won the world cup. Africa won the world cup' in his first video to 'oh no I and millions of black people world over were celebrating their ability to become French'. He's being incredibly disingenuous.
He wanted to make a point about immigration and multiculturalism being a good thing which is valid. His intent is laudable but he's wrong on fact. It's literally not the same as a country exporting a bunch of fully trained athletes to represent them like I believe a nations have done in many other sports in years gone by.
Intent is not the same as end result. You can have all the good intentions you want.
I understand what you are saying. It's completely natural as Özil said 'to have two hearts'. It must be so hard for a 2nd or 3rd generation immigrant who wants to trace his roots to the native land. You get there and suddenly you are not really accepted there because two or three generations separate you from the attitudes and culture - even the changed language of the place of origin.
But my point is slightly different. This French victory is borne out of decades of French scouting and coaching French born players with their French passports. I'm not saying we should accept these French absurdities about being 'colourblind'.
Consider a hypothetical scenario: An African team - say Zambia - won the World cup except they had 11 players of British origin and are coached by Sam Allardyce (remember this is hypothetical) : The players are white and trace their lineage back to the Norman Conquest , they are trained in Wallsend, Newcastle by old white men and qualify for Zambia because they were all born in Lusaka to White Rhodesian parents. What would we say about that? A victory for Europe or Britain or a victory for African football and Zambia?
Again Ozil created the most chances per 90 than any other player at the WC. Hardly his fault Hummels couldn't put away the chance against Korea which ultimately cost them.
What about his comments about Hoeness being a convicted criminal?
First thing first, Hoeness is an idiot and Bayern should remove him.
On the wider scale of German football and German nationality, sinceWW2 Germany felt they owed the world something and that they try their best to integrate and to make the country a more open and safe place where nothing is tolerated since the migrant crisis, however, this has changed and changed for the worse.
Fear has a way of bringing out the worst in people and that's what the migrant crisis did, it brought out the worst in German population and add that with the far right movement sweeping over Europe thanks to Brexit and trump all these nutjobs now believe that it's possible to win elections so while majority of Germany is trying to integrate and show the world that immigration is good and we are an immigrant society they are people within the population that don't want this to happen and then you have people that think that if you ignore the problem it would go away.
The racism is real, the neo-nazism is real the problems mesut is talking about is very real so while most in the public are hoping by ignoring them they would go away they are just gathering strength and becoming stronger and more vocal.
Hoeness being the idiot he is, is trying to deny that there is any problem and that German society is not plagued with this as they are afraid that people will remember what happened during WW2. Germany as a country has tried it's best to clean its reputation so you can imagine a player of Ozil caliber coming out and saying this it will ring alarm beds but instead of acknowledge the issue he's adding more fuel to the fire and the Bayern board has just been quiet, that perceive silence can be that you agree with the statements and all it does is highlight what Ozil is saying.
German football is at an all-time low and this just pushes them into the coffin a next scandal and it will bury it.
Pushing politics to the side, as this entire situation seems to have been politicized, and just from a fan/supporter of the Footballing version of Ozil, I hope this ignites a bit of a fire in him to go and tear it up this year as a 2 fingered salute to his detractors! And also from an entirely mercenary (in a footballing sense) viewpoint regarding any fallout in the German leagues, I hope we can get a few steals of deals.
Now, back to the politics
This problem is not solely a German one obviously, there is an increase of xenophobia throughout the world between the acts of terrorisms and mass exiles from dangerous regions into countries that are doing relatively well but feel threatened by other cultures trying to (or sometimes refusing to as well) assimilate. I also heard the Trevor Noah incident, and I think his joke was about as original as an airplane food one. He tried to mock the ambassador letter with his bad French accent, but I actually side with the ambassador more. There certainly is a tendency to claim valorous acts as French/German/American/etc and the bad ones to be blamed on the immigrant side of the person, but that still ends up being an ignorant portion of the population making those claims, it doesn't reflect the decent people of any nation who understand the process of immigration, and its benefits. At the end, it comes to personal tastes, but as a French living in America, when I become a citizen of that country, I would like to be referred as an American, and not French-American. I want to be American in the USA, and French back in France. I think Ozil mentioned he would like the same. However, if it's true that he tagged his picture with the President of Turkey as "my president", then he absolutely deserves some of the backlash he's gotten, as he would be going against the notion that he is German at worst, and at best is massively ignorant of the current political tensions between the two nations.
Ozil did nothing wrong. People are saying he should have anticipated a social backlash, but I feel that's missing the point. We should be asking whether the backlash is justified. This whole turn of events shows the ugly side of neo-nationalism. Also, football fans are probably the worst lot to have a discussion regarding this. There are a lot of reasonable people in this forum, but when it comes to issues like this things regress to the mean and unfold as one would 'stereotypically' expect.
You need to support comments like that.
It's being missed out because it's irrelevant.
I understand what you're saying, but it's very different for people of color. I assumed that you're white given your statement above. For people of color, it's twice harder for them to integrate because they already looked different in the first place. Then they have to deal with the racist who told them to "go back to their country". Even when they contribute their adopted country success, they still have to deal with the subtle digs when they made a mistake or played badly in the case of athletes. When you're white, when you look like the majority of the people in that country, you don't get those.
Here's the thing, I agree that Ozil was being stupid, and criticism is warranted. But that doesn't erase the racism and harassment that Ozil had to endure when he played badly. I think this is something that Ozil have felt for a long time, and the latest backlash after the Erdogan picture is the straw that broke the camel back
I like him but he is being a moaning bitch.
Pulling the racism card because people ripped him for being supportive of that thug Erdogan.
Immideate impact football wise maybe. This however is bigger matter. Social unrest, divisions of a nation and stationed international relationship is huge issue. This can trigger some domino effect down the years.
A statement like "pulling the racism card" has no place in any discussion. It trivializes a very real issue.
On your 1st paragraph, the thing is in Nigerian (and African culture). Where your family is from is where you are also. So I don't think acceptance is an issue rather it's more of ,do you feel comfortable in an environment that may feel alien to you (attitudes, mannerisms etc)? Now this depends on each individuals connection but I will say generally from my experiences you would be embraced wholesomely.
I agree with the 2nd paragraph in general. Africa did not contribute anything directly however one could debate over genetics and household upbringing (in contributing to making into professional football). The question though is how much influence did this have on the overall French victory, 2-5%? Could be even lower, it's probably a subjective view. From an individual player's perspective though it would be significantly greater. A relevant example would be Ozil who stated "My technique and feeling for the ball is the Turkish side to my game. The discipline, attitude and always-give-your-all is the German part."
Last paragraph, quite an intriguing scenario. It would victory for Africa clearly because Zambia, an African nation won the world cup but then again there will be a significant proportion (also within Africa) that would play down the victory stating that how can a team that did not include one indigenous African be labelled a "success".
Care to elaborate? To me making others accountable for my own feelings is out of the question, still that requires a high degree of attentiveness while percieving the world around me. In an ideal world no one would feel offended by anyone just because they tell them names or claim them to be someone or something they think they are not. Since all our brain does is interpreting the data it gets fed by our 5 senses, what we perceive to be reality is just a set of data radically filtered to a degree where our couscious mind can handle it. If I remember correctly acording to latest research every second around 11-12 billion bit of data are accessible around us, while our 5 senses can detect only 11 million bit. Those 11 million bit of data then further get filtered for the conscious mind can only handle roughly 50 bit of data. Our filters determine our perceived reality and since those are composed differently for every person on the planet, communication between humans can be quite irritating at times. The more alike the filters, the more we tend to like a person since we perceive the world in a similar way. In the end our brain doesn't perceive the world around us the way it really is, but is basically creating a map, a representation of perceived reality. A nice example is how the visual data that arrives at our retina is actually upside down but our brain alters the received information to build a inner representation that helps us to move more efficiently in the world, or how the brain fills gaps of information through generalization like 1,2,3,4,...,6,7,...,9,10.
Since most humans never care to think about the possibility that their perceived reality is only one of countless others, they believe their own reality to be the only veritible one. When our own filters differ a lot from those of our interlocutor we tend to negate their reality, leading to controversy, strife and even war. So instead of negating other people's reality it is almost always better to accept their perceptions to then present ones own. That's easily done by saying "That's true AND...". That way we don't have to question our own perceived reality, which to be honest can be quite frightening and uncomfortable, while still leaving the other person's reality unchallenged. That way we can learn from each other and adapt our own map at a comfortable pace. Maybe someday all people will be able to expand or recreate their own maps freely, still for most humans today that is not their perceived reality.
If we go by the reactions of the masses and large parts of the media in germany, their reality is one where they let other people's conduct influence their thoughts and feelings. Keeping that in mind the reaction to Özil's actions when playing for the german national team, which to most germans represents not only the DFB but to a degree Germany as a country including it's citizens and their general morale values, were to be expected. Erdogan as I stated in my earlier post urged social disorder within the german population by disuniting the germans of turkish descent and tried to drive a wedge between them and the rest of the population. The figure that is Erdogan thus is strongly connected to very bad thoughts and feelings within wide parts of the german people. As someone representing exactly those people by playing for the national team Özil either failed to realize that some of them might feel betrayed if he openly supported Erdogan who antagonizes the very values of those people he was supposed to represent, or he simply didn't care. In both cases the backlash from the media and population alike were practically written in stone the moment he decided to accept Erdogan's invitation and to pose for some photos. As I stated before Özil is completely free to choose his own actions but he will never be free of the consequences. If he doesn't like those consequences he should have thought about the possibilities in advance.
There still is that issue of right wing politicians as well as the usual racists hopping on board, taking the chance to spout their xenophobical crap. Well, Özil won't shut them up or change their ways by playing the blame game with the DFB, so what's the point? All I see is a person soleyly interested in his own marketability, trying to deflect from his own poor handling of the situation. So ist the social backlash justified? No and Yes. It depends on each person's perceived reality. Imo the more interesting question would be "Had Özil any way of anticipating that backlash?", and only Özil would be able to answer to that.
Noah doesn't get it. He waded into a topic he knows next to nothing about. The French ambassador knows that his government is fighting against people who see immigrants as not French and Noah's comments play straight into their hands.
A statement like "Africa won the World Cup. I get it, they have to say it's the French team. But look at those guys. You don't get that tan by hanging out in the south of France, my friends" isn't saying that French immigrants should be proud of their African origins - it's literally saying they're not French.
Yes, context matters and he probably didn't mean his words literally but you don't get to blunder about in a sensitive area and then get defensive when your ignorance gets you in trouble.
They're not Muslim.
Özil gets insulted by a German fan after the South Korea game with "Özil you Turkish pig! Go back to your country you shitty Turk!"
Bild chooses the headline "Özil gets into a fight with Germany supporter". This is only the tip of the iceberg. Yet, the DFB does close to nothing to protect him and instead Grindel gives a press conference and demands a statement from Özil.
With Özil it was always about racism. If he wouldn't look Turkish and his parents had called him "Sebastian Schmidt" he would've been a national hero, instead he was constantly criticized the most out of all of Germany's players despite being one of if not the best of the bunch under Löw. I mean, just look at the almost irrational love Germans have for Toni Kroos although he's a similar player with comparable strengthes and weaknesses.
Maybe you have to have been there to understand it. If you watch German matches with Özil playing many good passes and creating chances while someone like Müller fecks up almost every ball he gets but then Özil gets criticized by so many people, it is just weird and since it was so often the case you begin to question what's the real reason behind all of this.
How do you make any moral judgement in a world where one leader is equivalent to another? If Erdogan or Putin is no worse than Obama, or Macron, or Merkel then how can you say that Islamophobia is any worse than jaywalking? That doesn't mean you have to like Western leaders or think they're morally unimpeachable.
That's honestly such a short sighted and superficial answer. Erdogan just recently had the constitution changed in order to amplify the powers of his position. He imprisoned 50,000 (!) people among them leaders of the party that depicts the strongest political rival to the his AKP under weak allegations, shut down many media companies, censors the access to social media, works against secularism, uses minorities as scapegoats (Kurdish people), appoints family members and friends as government members completely out of the blue, undermines the sovereignty of other nations by intentionally manipulating their people ("Make many children, Turkish people, so we can conquer the West!"), meets with the Hamas leader and hates Israel, allegedly (and there seems to be strong evidence) supported ISIS with resources and so forth.
A Western leader of the past 40-50 years would've faced complete outrage of the EU, the own population and the media if he ever tried doing even one of these things. Yes, Western nations initiated wars and killed many people but in the end they've been democrats in positions of power who made decisions. These decisions were sometimes or even many times wrong, even cruel and ignorant, but there wasn't one single leader of a big Western nation who tried to turn it into an autocracy like Erdogan is doing.
Separate names with a comma.