Anwar El Ghazi stands among the rubble

Defend your ideas at the expense of everything.

And so finally Mainz has terminated Anwar El Ghazi’s contractalready suspended for two weeks on October 17th for a pro-Palestinian post and then reinstated, but only formally, until the epilogue of the last hours: “FSV Mainz 05 is ending the contractual relationship with Anwar El Ghazi It is Friday (November 3rd, ed) fired the player with immediate effect. The club is taking this action in response to the player’s statements and posts on social media». This is the official announcement from the club. But what did El Ghazi say and why was he fired after the suspension?

It all started on October 17th when the Dutch player shared the following post: “This is not war. When one side cuts off the other side’s water, food and electricity, it’s not war. If either side has nuclear weapons, it is not war. If either side is funded with billions of dollars, that’s not war. If either side uses images generated by artificial intelligence to spread disinformation about the other, it is not war. If social media censors one side’s content and not the other, that’s not a war.”

It still is: “This is neither a conflict nor a war. This is genocide, mass destruction and we are witnessing it live. From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free».

A strong position and an equally clear contribution (albeit later removed), which led to the club “clearly distancing itself in terms of content”. Suspend the player and demand an apology and correction for reinstatement. Here, however, El Ghazi’s story took a different turn than that of his colleagues, especially Mazraoui, who was initially suspended because of his pro-Palestine position, but then trained with the team again after a loss – which was important for the club Bayern Munich case – a step back.

This is Mainz’s first choice

In fact, El Ghazi has decided not to deny anything, quite the opposite He increased: «My position remains the same: I am against war and violence; against the killing of innocent civilians; against any form of discrimination; against Islamophobia; against anti-Semitism; against genocides; against apartheid; against occupation and oppression. I have no regrets or regrets about my position. I will not distance myself from what I said today and until my last breath I stand with humanity and the oppressed (…). I have no choice but to stand firm for justice and seek the truth. I do it even if it goes against my interestsagainst my parents and those I love». So the conclusion:

“There will never be any justification for the killing of 3,500 children in Gaza in the last three weeks.” How can the world remain silent when a child is killed every 10 minutes in Gaza? In the time it takes me to play a game, 9 children are killed. And this number is growing every day. I I can’t keep quiet. We must demand an immediate end to the conflict in Gaza!

This led to the German club terminating the player’s contract and even threatening him with legal action: “We will examine the matter legally and then evaluate the measures.” But El Ghazi continued and confirmed his position again in his post yesterday Beliefs: “Stay on the right side, even if it means being alone. The loss of my livelihood (‘living’) It is nothing compared to the hell unleashed on the innocent and vulnerable in Gaza». A lesson in style, or rather coherence.

Nothing to add

This is what we have always asked, on a small scale, of footballers and athletes in general: that they do not settle for simple fights in which everyone takes part, clubs, television channels and multinational corporations. let them go to the end for their faithwho were willing to pay for this belief. Because as Ezra Pound said, a giant and heir of the 20th century who unfortunately became in the collective imagination an exclusive reference of neo-fascism: “If a man is not willing to take some risks for his ideas, either his ideas are worthless or he is worthless».

But we could also mention Cantona – another supporter of the Palestinian cause, not surprisingly – who made such comments months ago. «Where it is risky, no one takes sides. Most people accept this because they are “role models.” But they are cheap examples, sheep examples cheap!. As everywhere in football, there are many examples of cheap sheep. It’s just a business. They say they are against this or that, but it is always the simplest thing. Today it is the climate that is positive, but do you think that you are really committed and taking risks because you say: “We have to be careful about the climate”?».

“But now everything is easy. They wait, they wait and then they say: “Now I can go and say something“. There are many things you can fight for today. So,Fight for the Palestinians. Fight for Yemen. Fight against Saudi Arabia and the countries that sell weapons to Saudi Arabia. Talk about it.”

Eric Cantona to The Athletic, September 26, 2022

El Ghazi did it, and we can only be with him: not so much because of the content of the post, but because of the courage shown. Because those who have the courage to defend their ideas at the cost of everything must always be respected, even if perhaps challenged, opposed or even attacked. So honor Anwar El Ghazi stands among the rubble. The never so concrete ones of Gaza, reduced to a huge and destroyed cemetery in the open air, but also the metaphorical ones of a world, the European sports world, characterized by conformism, by battles of convenience and by many, too many false rebelsto quote Cantona.

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