In a lengthy statement posted on his Twitter account, midfielder Mesut Ozil of the German national soccer team said he is quitting due to racism — this coming after he posed for a photo in May with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Ozil said, “I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose.” His family traces their roots to Turkey and he is proud of his background. He said that after the photo with Erdogan was picked up by German media, it caused a firestorm of criticism and racist language. In his statement, Ozil said the photo taken at a London event “wasn’t about politics or elections, it was about me respecting the highest office of my family’s country.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said through a spokesperson that she “respects” Ozil’s decision and his accomplishments.” 

Star player quits German national team over alleged racism


Editorial credit: Christian Bertrand /