torsdag 19. desember 2019

Craven Arsenal abandon Mesut Özil over his stance on China’s Uighur persecution

Arsenal might not be any good at parking the bus. But they sure know how to throw Mesut Özil under one. Imagine the frantic boardroom conversations on Friday after Özil expressed his horror at the imprisonment of millions of Uighurs in China. The fear of losing profits from shirt sales, commercial deals and future pre-season tours must have choked senior executives like Beijing residents in smog season.

In the club’s rush to post on the Chinese social media site Weibo that Özil’s comments were merely his “personal opinion” – before a simpering reminder that “Arsenal has always adhered to the principle of not involving itself in politics” – all that was missing was a white flag. Appeasement is never a good look, even if it is cloaked by apparent indifference.

Just his personal opinion? Hardly. Özil was entirely in tune with a United Nations panel and multiple human rights groups who have spoken out about the imprisonment of millions of Uighur people in internment camps without trial for “re-education” in what has been described as the largest incarceration of one ethnic group since the Holocaust, with multiple accounts of torture, rape and abuse from eyewitnesses who have passed through.