Arsenal chief executive denies club took commercial stance on Mesut Ozil’s Uighur comments

The statement which started it

Arsenal have been once again questioned regarding their response to former midfielder Mesut Ozil’s post regarding Uighur Muslims in China. A BBC investigation reportedly revealed information about the treatment of Uighur Muslims in the country. The former German international took to his social media pages to speak out on the topic.

Ozil’s statement read:

“East Turkistan, the bleeding wound of the Ummah, resisting against the persecutors trying to separate them from their religion. They burn their Qurans. They shut down their mosques. They ban their schools. They kill their holy men. The men are forced into camps and their families are forced to live with Chinese men. The women are forced to marry Chinese men.”

“But Muslims are silent. They won’t make a noise. They have abandoned them. Don’t they know that giving consent for persecution is persecution itself?”

Arsenal chief executive denies club took commercial stance on Mesut Ozil’s Uighur comments

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 30: Mesut Ozil of Arsenal during the Carabao Cup Round of 16 match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on October 30, 2019 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

However, Arsenal distanced themselves from the comments and released the following statement:

“Arsenal is always apolitical as an organisation,” the London club said. “Following social media messages from Mesut Ozil on Friday, Arsenal Football Club must make it clear that these are Mesut’s personal views.”

This sparked debate and many believed Arsenal had distanced themselves for commercial reasons.

Arsenal executive denies claim

Arsenal chief executive Vinai Venkatesham has now denied claims that Arsenal were distancing themselves due to commercial circumstances.

“I don’t it is fair we took a commercial view. We were asked for comment. Our position was it was a statement the player made in an individual capacity,” he said.

Venkatesham who took over the overarching role after the departure of Raul Sanhelli in the summer of 2020 also commented on the treatment of black players on social media, saying more needs to be done to tackle the problems of racism in the sport.

“This is possibly the biggest problem we have in the game at the minute,” Venkatesham said. “Footballers, referees, officials are all human beings with feelings. You can’t underestimate the impact social media abuse can have on individuals.”

“We provide support and psychologists but I don’t want to be writing another release on how disgusted we are.”

He pointed out the swiftness copyright claims are taken down by social media but how abuse is able to remain up unless there is an enquiry into the comments.

“We can’t do it alone. How do you explain to a black footballer that if a piece of pirated content goes up, it gets taken down in minutes but that isn’t the same for racist abuse?” he added.

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The statement which started itArsenal have been once again questioned regarding their response to former midfielder Mesut Ozil’s post regarding Uighur Muslims in China. A BBC investigation reportedly revealed information about the treatment of Uighur Muslims in the country. The former German international took to his social media pages to speak out on the topic.Ozil’sFootball (soccer) greatest goals and highlights | 101 Great Goals – Feed

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