In most parts of the world, football Sunday yesterday meant watching Arsenal lose to Manchester City in a big English Premier League clash.
But not in China. The Chinese state broadcaster CCTV pulled the game because of comments made on social media by Arsenal midfielder Mesut Özil over the Chinese government’s internment of Uighur Muslims.
The comments upset many soccer fans in China, where Özil is a BFD. His fan community of over 100,000 said it was shutting down as a result: “As Chinese people we cannot accept this,” a statement read.
Arsenal went into clean-up mode. It posted on Chinese social media that Özil did not speak for the club and that “Arsenal always adheres to the principle of not being involved in politics”…
…especially in China, where the club opened a sports bar and restaurant in 2018.
Having déjà Brew? In October, Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey sparked an international firestorm when he tweeted support for pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong, drawing retaliation against the NBA from the Chinese government.