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Mesut’s in trouble

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Mesut Ozil is a name that is always in the headlines. When he wasn’t breaking deep defences with silky passes, he was talking about the atrocities on Uyghur Muslims in China or supporting Arsenal on Twitter which many construed as trolling. Now, even after retirement, a Mesut Ozil tattoo has landed him in hot water, with allegations of being a hypocrite flying about as the contentious symbol he is proudly sporting is problematic, to say the least.

So, what is the Mesut Ozil tattoo and why is it so problematic? Here are all the details-

Mesut Ozil tattoo- What’s the story?

On July 23, Tobias Huche, a German journalist, tweeted a picture of Ozil in which he was showing off his toned muscles after a workout with a friend.

He zoomed in on Mesut Ozil’s tattoo on the left side of his chest. It showed a grey wolf and three crescents with a flag.

Huche explained that Mesut Ozil’s tattoo represents the Nazi-Fascist Gray Wolves organisation.

The Gray Wolves organisation is a Turkish far-right organisation that is infamous for its hate crimes against Alevis, Kurds, Jews, and Christians.

France banned the organisation in 2020 for its alleged involvement in massacres, bombings, and assassinations.

Austria has also banned the Gray Wolves salute because of its extreme connotations and call for violence. The organisation itself denies all these allegations and presents itself as a cultural and educational foundation.

The Mesut Ozil tattoo becomes more problematic when looked at through the lens of his friendship with Turkey’s leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan. They are extremely close, with the Turkey leader being the best man at Ozil’s wedding.

Erdogan has been accused of promoting ultra-nationalism, bordering on fascism. The Gray Wolves organisation has been accused of promoting the same- an extreme form of Turkish nationalism which includes marginalising anyone who is not a pure Turk.

Gray Wolves has been branded as an extremely radical organisation and consequently, has been banned in many European countries and beyond.

Mesut Ozil’s hypocrisy?

As soon as the tweet was sent, people accused Ozil of hypocrisy. The former German international was widely praised for taking a stand against the silence on atrocities on the Uyghur Muslims in China.

Also read: 10 facts you don’t know about Mesut Ozil

Theories even went as far as to say that Arsenal exiled Ozil from the first team to silence him, as they didn’t want to get involved in politics.

Arsenal’s hypocrisy was later called out when they openly supported their player, Ukrainian international Oleksandr Zinchenko in speaking out against Russia. Ozil’s reputation was further enhanced as a result as the man who spoke out when nobody else was willing to do so.

However, this tattoo does not bode well for Ozil’s reputation as a social justice warrior. Asking for the protection of one stratum of society while sporting a tattoo which has been accused of endorsing the mistreatment of others is not a good look.

There have been no comments from Ozil on this development at the time of writing.

Vatsal Gupta
A die-hard Red Devil, who has straight up not had a good time since 2012. Lives on Korean dramas and books and can often be heard talking about armchair psychological stuff.

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