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The national players didn't understand it

Just a few days ago, Iran's national team refused to sing their country's anthem.

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The national players didn't understand it

Just a few days ago, Iran's national team refused to sing their country's anthem. This protest was silent. And here you knew: something is really at stake, the athletes and their families are threatened with consequences that go far beyond yellow cards. This sign interacts with reality. Now the German national players have also protested silently - symbolically with their hands in front of their mouths for the team photo. However, the interaction between symbol and reality does not apply to the German silence, the national players are threatened with nothing more than a disciplinary slap. The sign is therefore not worth much. The viewer notices that. And the national players should have known that in 2022.

It is not surprising that it is not enough to do much more than a modified team picture as a protest note. After all, for fear of yellow cards, they had already buckled in front of FIFA and left the unwanted one-love armband in the closet. Otherwise, no one from the official side has attracted attention with substantial statements or decisions that would have allowed conclusions to be drawn about seriously lived values. So far, so well known.

On this Wednesday afternoon, however, one is particularly astonished when one discovers Thomas Müller at the front in the starting line-up and in the mouth-to-mouth photo. At the time of the kick-off, it was not a day ago that the Bayern striker made the following statement: "Who expects us footballers to completely leave our path as athletes and our sporting dreams, for which we have spent a footballer's life give up in order to position ourselves more clearly politically, they will be disappointed.”

That's more of one of those signs, because you buy all of Müller's sentences. But then standing there the following day, covering your mouth for a photo and wanting that to be understood as a big gesture, is not only embarrassing, but bold. Who, who has read Müller's sentences, should buy that from him?

Now you can't hold Müller responsible for everything that goes wrong in football. Especially since one has to give him credit for his sentences, no matter how indifferent they may read, that they were probably honest.

More telling, because more symptomatic, is the fact that the players decided to do this at all.

This shows two things: Firstly, that they are aware that in such politicized times it is no longer possible to suppress the obvious for a long time. The kumbaya-soaked PR presentation of large sports festivals is no longer effective. Only the wrong conclusions were drawn from it.

People obviously didn't understand how high the bar is now set for demonstrations of this new understanding of values. If the symbols don't match reality, the symbolism doesn't get through. Nobody buys these from the players. Because what should it stand for? For resistance to oppression? It fits better with the silence of the German football elite.

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