Consumer Group Calls on German Football Association (DFB) Sponsors Adidas, McDonald’s, Mercedes-Benz & Co. to Withdraw Partnership After Resignation of Mesut Özil

July 25, 2018

SumOfUs calls on corporate sponsors to drop DFB after scapegoating of Mesut Özil post 2018 World Cup

A new petition from SumOfUs, an international consumer group, is calling on Adidas, McDonald’s, and Mercedes-Benz to withdraw support from the German Football Association (DFB) after top executives blamed player Mesut Özil for Germany’s last place exit at this year’s World Cup. Allegations and racist insults against Özil ultimately lead him to resign from the German football team. The petition claims that SumOfUs will continue to call on DFB’s main corporate sponsors Adidas, McDonald’s, Mercedes-Benz & Co. to withdraw their support until the DFB fires the executives that blamed Özil for Germany's loss instead of protecting their player from racist attacks.

View the petition here:

“The resignation of footballer Mesut Özil has exposed the shameful racism within the German football culture -- and instead of protecting their player, top executives of the German Football Association put all the blame for Germany’s bad performance on Özil,” said Christian Bock, campaigner at SumOfUs. “While this year’s World Cup was a triumph for diversity, the horrific treatment of German player Mesut Özil, racism still managed to rear its ugly head.

“After Germany’s early exit from the World Cup, fans and German politicians alike scapegoated Özil, a third-generation Turkish-German, for the team’s loss. A controversial photo Özil took with Turkish president Erdogan in May was used as an excuse to pile on racist and Islamophobic insults. Officials from the German Football Association didn’t just fail to defend Özil -- they actively supported his detractors, leading Özil to resign from the German team.

“Until the DFB apologizes for its abhorrent treatment of one of its star players, we’re calling on the organisation’s main sponsors Adidas, McDonald’s, Mercedes-Benz & Co to withdraw their support. By refusing to channel their millions into the association, they could pressure the DFB into changing its ways. On the other hand, by continuing their sponsorship they are complicit in racism and xenophobia,” concluded Bock.

“I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose,” wrote Özil in a Twitter statement about his retirement.”

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