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.