Are Arsenal being hypocritical by not supporting Mesut Ozil as well?

Are Arsenal Hypocrites? By Dan Smith

Arsenal have been criticized throughout the last week by netizens for joining in with other brands last Tuesday by staging a ‘black out’ on their Twitter page.

This isn’t about the club supporting that ‘Black Lives Matter’ (as well they should) but can or should the Gunners choose when or not football can mix with politics?

The accusation of hypocrisy comes from a failure to support Mesut Ozil, who equally had good intentions when he supported Uyghurs in Xinjiang, and questioned why more countries were not protesting against China’s treatment towards them.

I believe those who say sport shouldn’t get involved with this type of discussion are people who don’t want to hear the truth. It’s too easy to pretend the reality of the world isn’t happening, but the fact is our game is too engulfed in money that stems from these situations that we can’t pick and choose.

For example, is it right to talk about the World Cup in Qatar, predict scores, get excited, say how beautiful the stadiums look, etc, but please don’t mention the slave labour and the amount of deaths to build that stadia? You can’t pick and choose.

You can’t say it’s harsh that Sancho gets a yellow card for displaying a message on his shirt, but then when one of our players points out the mistreatment of Muslims, football should be kept separate? Since 2017, camps have been set up (reportedly set outside the legal system) where millions of Uighurs are being held without any charge or trial in secret locations to ‘re-educate’. Testimonies include sexual assault, forced labour, brain washing and torture.

Individuals have been detained for visiting Kazakhstan, having WhatsApp on their phone and practising Islam. Men and women have legally told stories of their ‘education’ including having to sing and study China’s Communist Party.

Yet not did his employers just not back his stance, Arsenal distanced themselves from Ozil’s comments, stressing his views were his own and not a reflection on the club’s stance. That’s despite the UK being one of 23 nations who have signed a letter to the UN Human’s Right Council asking China to close their camps.

That would be like the squad all taking a knee in training, followed by a statement on our website stressing that’s not Arsenal [the company] saying they back that protest. Can you imagine the uproar if that happened?

What’s Ozil said that’s different?

That people shouldn’t be imprisoned.
That Muslims shouldn’t be forced to eat pork?
That women shouldn’t have to take unknown medicines leading to abortions?
That anyone should have free speech and not be suppressed?

Or is it that the Chinese Government then punished Arsenal by not broadcasting their next fixture – hitting Stan Kroenke in the pocket?

Arsenal got involved last Tuesday because #Black Lives Matter and it does. But all Ozil was saying in his own way was #Muslims Lives Matter. Because Guess what?

# All Lives Matter

If Arsenal don’t want to get involved in politics, then fine. If you only want Arsenal to refer to football, then fine. But then they and their players have to not tweet, Facebook or message about what’s going on in America. When we score next week at City, no removing the shirt, no taking the knee. If you do? Then you equally have to give Ozil’s views a platform.

Dan Smith

44 Comments

  1. RT says:

    I’m sorry but following and supporting the black lives matter is not politics!!! It’s about racism!!!
    There is no debate or other side to the argument.

    1. RT says:

      We should all support the movement! No debate needed

      1. Kenny Rolfe says:

        What about “All Lives Matter”

      2. Kenny Rolfe says:

        What we got to support, the Looting the Desecrating of our Monuments and March in the name of a serial criminal

    2. Dan says:

      But whys what happening in China not equally concerning to you ?

      1. Kay says:

        Don’t you think he should do what he’s been paid to do than fighting for some just cause when the said cause is even controversial. And do you think it’s the same thing as as the issue of black lives? Can we for once talk about something reasonable and profitable than Ozil, as far as I’m concerned the guy has generated more issues among the fan base than anyone and I can’t wait for him to leave the club.

      2. Craig Barrett says:

        I think you have a fair point. These topics all deserve action from people interested in a better world. Arsenal in a perfect world would stand by every moral decision but in real world it would have a detrimental effect on finances. We may be better off to encourage our stars to take up their humanitarian efforts after they leave club and rather focus on being the best players they can for our great club. When social media explodes these topics players get distracted. A true professional will focus on the game now and the rest once they are done. Just my opinion

  2. Igot350K4scoring1goalandu? says:

    Please, “all lives matter” and we should not pick and choose.But, but Ozil’s case is different as he takes up one case (which may be one side of the story as there are counter claims) and then keeps company with an individual who has history of rights abuses and Ozil turns a blind eye to that or it is so that the victims are from another ethnicity?If he condemns both, then I stand up with Ozil. I rest my case.

    1. Get Real says:

      Ozil has a history of taking care of the poor and needy, why would he do this if he has people around him who go and undo all his good? your comment was not called for, to question ozils character, his actions speaks for himself, you can easily sit behind a key board and criticise while people out their put their backs on the line only for people like you to start brandishing stuff as if the man himself in question is doing all these disgusting things. I am bemused as to how some cannot use the brain given to see he will never side with a person like this knowingly and just shows how not just yourself but as a nation we are backward minded, brainwashed by media unable to think for ourselves and allow the countries media to ‘think’ we are thinking with our own minds, but that is clearly not the case. I agree with this article either stick to football or, just as you said don’t pick and choose. Politics or not these matters are outside football and as le prof would always say, consistency is key (so is fairness).

      1. Igot350K4scoring1goalandu? says:

        Hey, I appreciate what Ozil does for the needy / charitable organisations, etc. and I criticize his footballing ability on the ground. But here, he did comment on Chinese nationals and he was seen with a certain country President on several occasions as per media pictures. Everybody knows how ethic minorities are treated in that country. No one is brainwashed here and each has his own opinion, mate!If you see a picture of a celebrity in the company of an oppressor, what would you infer? Ozil commented on a sovereign nations internal matters, AFC participated in a movement against racism which is not limited to any nation in particular. Well done AFC and keep supporting social causes in future.

        1. ozziegunner says:

          Igot350, I agree 100%. Ozil associating himself with Erdogan damages him and diminishes his stand on the Urghars.
          Unfortunately money talks and Arsenal will always avoid upsetting sponsors and markets, thus the hypocracy.
          The demonstrations in Australia regarding Aboriginal deaths in custody, show that no country is blameless and most have stains on their histories which must be addressed to move on.

        2. Kay says:

          👍🙏👌

    2. Reggie says:

      Agree with that completely Igot, i was just about to write exactly the same but you did it for me. And yes to the article, all football is hypocritical.

      1. Nero says:

        No arsenal is not being hypocritical.

        You forget Arsenal greatest player is a black man, and indeed some of their finest have been black…how will it feel knowing your organisation doesn’t have your back? You won’t grasp cos your white..

        Not when every one accepted gays,arsenal were the first to openly accept them. You didn’t blame them when it wasn’t fashionable to accept them.

        For all your concern arsenal is a business, and all things being equal the owner wants profits too, calculate the revenue generated from from China and those generated from other areas in which racism is a touchy issue and you will use your business sense..

        Gorge floyd murder was on tape,Ozil was concerned about his faith brethren,and his emotional God given personal opinion. If he’s fighting for human rights how about the other oppressed of the world? They don’t matter?

        So the question is is dan Smith being hypocritical for poking at Arsenal support for BLM movement?

        1. Dan says:

          Where did I criticise anyone for support of BLM ?

        2. ozziegunner says:

          Nero, I didn’t know Dennis Bergkamp was black? Arsenal’s greatest player is always debatable; human rights should always be a given.

    3. Dan says:

      Well China have admitted these camps exist ?

  3. SueP says:

    What happened in America has been a force for good after the shocking video emerged of George Floyd at the hands of a policeman, surrounded by colleagues who did nothing to stop him. Black lives matter as much as anyone else’s life regardless of race, colour or creed. We should ALL matter and I fully support RT’s standpoint.

    I wrote a response on here about speaking out against wrongs in an earlier article. You have to be pretty certain that you are not ignoring other wrongs by just supporting your own causes.

    You asked about Ozil. He has made his claims about the treatment of the Muslim minority in China forcefully and with feeling. It is his right to do so, but he must also understand that his best man, the Turkish leader, has a very dodgy record on human rights. You can’t have it both ways.

    As a non Muslim woman, I don’t have to worry about honour killings or female inequality that exists in so many Muslim countries. Perhaps Ozil might like to comment on that.

    Whatever side of the coin you are on, there will be another point of view. Roger Federer decided to keep his personal politics out of sport and play great tennis instead. Not a bad idea in my opinion. I would recommend that Ozil does the same, or gives up football and become a human rights campaigner instead where he can voice his opinions as a free, self employed man and at the same time, give generously to the needy as he currently does.

  4. Grandad says:

    The history of this Planet has to a large extent been influenced by Mans’ inhumanity to his fellow man.At a time when the entire World is suffering big time, with the utmost respect this is not the forum on which to raise matters of politics , inhumanity including racism .I could right at length on these subjects but in my opinion a Football Club blog is not the appropriate channel to debate these seriously important subjects.To continue to do so could lead to a deluge of wide ranging views which will have little to do with Arsenal FC , a Club which has always welcomed fans of any creed or colour.

    1. SueP says:

      You are so right, Grandad

  5. ThirdManJW says:

    Yes Arsenal were hypocritical, but so was Ozil.

    Ozil is happy enough to have a pop at the Chinese for their treatment of Muslims, but he stays silent about how women get treated by Muslim men.

  6. Myst says:

    If running a business seems hypocritical to you I suggest you speak on matters that are within your level of understanding instead of just penning emotional writing to garner support of viewing a business as being a hypocrite. All companies choose when to cut ties with someone who was just accused of wrong…….choosing not to tarnish their brand, but Arsenal are supposed to just join political matters that could hurt the club right?
    Ozil came out and attacked what the Chinese were doing, but how many other countries were doing what he did and even after he did how many took a stance. China is a sovereign nation and by Arsenal openly supporting such statements it is troublesome as it shows blatant disregard for the country’s status as being sovereign when it comes to their internal affairs.
    BLM is not an internal problem it’s a social problem all over the world and everyone knows this, but apparently you’re blind to the fact that racism exists in the world today. The Chinese government dealing with things makes it political, the death of a black innocent man causing protest doesn’t equate to politics.
    Not to mention that religion is a matter of choice ,whereas, being black is not…..so to call out a club for avoiding political confrontation because they don’t want to get involved in the affairs of a country, while at the same time they are showing solidarity for a social movement just shows how you don’t even comprehend the difference in the two matters

  7. Sue says:

    Seeing as we’re discussing Mesut…
    One of the guys who attempted to rob MO and Kolasinac, has had his sentence cut on appeal… from 10 years to 6!! Bearing in mind, he was out on licence at the time, for a 42 month sentence for burglary. He’s well known by the Police and is a ‘career criminal’ with an appalling criminal record… yet because ‘nothing was taken’ from Mesut/Sead, 10 years was deemed excessive, so 6 it is…… which more than likely means he’ll be out within no time. What a joke!! Unbelievable….smh….

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Sue, unfortunately unlike some less fortunate, he could obviously afford a good lawyer. The next people this thug attacks may not be as fit and competent as Kolasinac and the result may be much more severe on the victim.

      1. Sue says:

        He shouldn’t even be out on the streets to rob/attempt to rob someone though, Ozzie!!

        1. ozziegunner says:

          Don’t disagree!

  8. Tolu says:

    Nonsensical article. You must really be bored Dan.

    1. Dan says:

      An article you have read and commented on ?
      Sorry that talking about mistreatment of Muslims make you blush

  9. Sean M says:

    Firstly, nice to see that a post on politics hasn’t devolved to sh*t-flinging; a rarity on the internet these days.

    However, I think there is an inconsistency in many arguments above. BLM and its advocates are heralded for fighting a cause, while Ozil is judged for the causes he does not back. Wouldn’t it be the moral equivalent of criticising BLM for not also backing Uighers’ rights?

    Humans only have the emotonal capacity and time to fight certain battles. Who of any of you have publicly campaigned to end China’s stronghold on Xinjiang (and Tibet for that matter)? How are you acting to end racial inequality in the country you live, save for changing your profile photo? None of us do much at all, and nor should we be expected to. We all have families to feed, jobs to hold down, relatonships to maintain that hav to be counterbalanced with leisure time to keep our heads above water. Most of us are content with just trying to embody the values we believe in and spread them whenever an opportunity presents itself; and that’s completely fine. So why are we holding Ozil to a higher standard? Why are we not holding BLM to the same standard? You cannot single-handedly take on every cause. Even Ghandi touched up underage girls.

    The simple truth is that money talks. China’s soft power is in its enormous domestic market; whether Hollywood, computer games, music or football, companies have to either conform to the Chinese narrative or sacrifice a massive chunk of revenue. Those fans who complain about a lack of funds should make sure to understand that being morally virtuous can be expensive; the decision isn’t black and white.

    So while I’m all for criticism of Ozil’s silence over Erdogan’s abuses (especially of the Kurdish region in the South-East of Turkey and across the border in Iraq and Syria), let’s make sure we hold everybody else to the same moral standard. It’s great that BLM is making some important strides; it’s equally great that Ozil is willing to challenge China’s consumptive hold n speak up about the slow erosion of the lives of Xinjiang people.

    Mucho love

    For anyone interested, Vice did a great investigative piece on the subject:

    1. ThirdManJW says:

      Ozil gets held in a higher standard because he has the platform and reach to let millions know about the suffering of Muslim women within Islamic society. Only Muslim’s can realistically change their culture, and Ozil is a very famous, and influential Muslim.

      Completely agree with what you are saying about people only having the emotional capacity and time to fight certain battles, but this is almost same thing isn’t it? Muslims are suffering. Muslims suffering in China, which Ozil speaks out against, and Muslim women and girls suffering horrendously all over the world, especially the middle east, and yet nothing from him? Genital mutilation isn’t of any concern for Ozil? There are far more Muslim females suffering everywhere at the hands of Muslim men, by an absolute country mile compared to anything going on in China, yet Ozil prioritizes China?

      I think Ozil needs to get his own house in order before lecturing others. Ultimately, one cannot take Ozil seriously, for skirting over a similar, yet far bigger issue.

      1. Sean M says:

        Is the same not also true of you? Unless you believe yourself to be without flaws, are you not also guilty of criticising others while being imperfect? Seems like a contradictory argument.

  10. Shakir says:

    Dan has asked a simple question but has asked for it in the wrong place.But i got the question and i would say,yes the club was hypocritical in Ozils matter.

    Premier league’s message this season was “Say no to racism” and by racism it means every form of racism.
    I dont know why people are trying to say that black livss differ from those muslim lives in china specially in uiyghur.
    Keep Ozil aside,who do you think is really suffering more today?The muslims or the black people?you cant judge but you know they are oppressed and they suffer in their own way.
    My whole point is look at the oppressed and support them irrespective of their colour,race,religion or any other thing they have been divided from

    I will make this short and clear,
    “SAY NO TO RACISM” and #AllLivesMatter #NeverMockAPain #Empathy

  11. Top Gunner says:

    Ozil is not supporting Arsenal. This is shown by his performance in the field of play. So, why should Arsenal support him?

  12. Jah son says:

    At shakir
    I actually enjoy reading most of your posts. Very rational reasoning.

  13. Loose Cannon says:

    Ozil was silent when the most brutal and barbaric crimes were carried out in Iraq and Syria, why? Those lives do not matter to him or is he trying to speak only for a section of humanity? If so resign from our club and be an advocate for a section of humanity.Call a spade a spade. And why is he silent on the nuisance caused by some of the faithful in North and Central Africa, South Asia, etc.Those lives do not matter? Let us not get communal . see every crime as a crime irrespective of gender, race, creed, language, etc.

  14. Jude Biggsejj says:

    Fellow Gooners,
    I guess this argument should not arise in the first place cos Ozil is old enough to decide the part he wants to follow.

    Ozil in the first instance did not raise any eyebrow or objection to Arsenal’s position, so why is it becoming an issue here?

    Arsenal as a football club or better put a business entity has a right to identify or distance herself from whatever that could affect her general interest.
    As you all know matters that has to do with faith (I mean religion) is a very dicey area to delve into especially as an organisation.

    In real terms Ozil did not actually speak on behalf of Arsenal, nor did he speak or snap photographs with Turkish president as an Arsenal player but as an adult individual who has a right of expression and association.

    Once again I rest my case.

  15. Top Gunner says:

    His attitude warrants these decisions

  16. Loose Cannon says:

    Jude, I beg to differ. Ozil is contracted to AFC and anything he does should mirror the club ethos and values.As an Arsenal player, he ought to be non political but highlight social causes. He referred only to those of his faith being persecuted, is he so myopic that he cannot see other minorities suffering? Arsenal as club does not interfere in the internal matters of an independent nation as it would be a breach, does he not know that? He is speaking in general about a section of Chinese nationals. It is hypocritical in nature, to close your eyes the sufferings of the millions in the place of your birth because they do not share your faith and speak about some clan in some distant country which is yet to be proved. What about the second class treatment of ethic minorities in countries where his faith is in majority? Where was he when religious places and hotels were bombed in an Asian country last year? If the club was strict about protocol, Ozil would have been reprimanded, but lo! He abused the head coach in public and was let off. Another abused all fans publicly and was let off. And it is sad when a bunch of few of his admirers put him above club

    1. Loose Cannon says:

      And he spoke that at a time when a majority of people were expecting his transfer away ,since China is one destination where his wages could be afforded, which he was against going to after enjoying the comforts at Arsenal and life at London. So his concern itself is hypocritical.Secondly to cover his failures on the ground, he deflected attention. What a masterstroke, which only matured politicians can do.

      1. Top Gunner says:

        There’s no masterstroke in what he’s doing. He bites the hand that feeds him. He’ll realise that one, when its too late to change those circumstances

  17. Glorious says:

    A lot of people are confused to know the difference between a religion norms and racism. Whatever a Muslim man does to their female is embedded in their book,. Racism has no book, this make it different from religious bigotry and dehumanization. Religion maybe a choice but being black or White is not a choice. Ozil’s cause was religious, BLM cause is base on equal treatment to all irrespective of your complexion. Arsenal can’t associate with religious fight but can only associate with humanity cause.

  18. RSH says:

    Everyone is hypocritical at different points in their lives, so to bash Ozil, or Arsenal would be hypocritical of all of us. What does matter is that everyone is standing up for a just cause right now, and hopefully we take that energy into the future and dont shy away when money is at stake. The entire EPL should’ve stood against China.

  19. Jude Biggsejj says:

    I don’t think Arsenal reprimanded Ozil for expressing himself as a free being, but rather only made it clear that Ozil’s stance was only his personal opinion and not the club’s.

    Just like we are erring our different opinions on some of these issues, we may differ but we are all entitled to our respective opinions. So also is our dear Ozil whether it seem right or wrong to us.

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