Football player Mesut Özil’s resignation highlights Germany’s complicated attitudes toward immigration and heritage

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

 

 

A series of tweets this Sunday rocked the German sports world. Football player Mesut Özil, who was born in Germany but has Turkish roots, announced he’d be retiring from Germany’s national team following months of criticism for posing for a photo with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

We spoke with Claus Vetter, sports reporter for Der Tagesspiegel, about Özil’s decision, the role and responsibility of the German Football Association (DFB) and president Reinhard Grindel, and the discussions about integration and identity that have ensued.

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