The ongoing debate about politics and sport is an interesting one, and it seems that opinions will be formed over whether you agree with the person making the statement or not.
If it’s someone speaking out for freedom and using their position to generate publicity for something that needs attention then it’s hard to criticise, but there will always be those who don’t know how to react when someone speaks out against their beliefs and return to the “politics and sports shouldn’t mix” message.
There’s no doubt we live in a world where some atrocious things are happening, and those in power are stooping to new lows and lengths to censor anyone who might expose anything that could damage them.
READ MORE: Freddie Ljungberg aims dig at Arsenal star Mesut Ozil following tantrum against Manchester City
Football in particular has completely sold its-self out when it comes to money. It was always incredibly ironic when Barcelona would claim the high ground by accepting Unicef as a sponsor while traveling to play lucrative friendlies in countries run by some brutal regimes.
China has always been a market that teams have looked to when it comes to finding extra income and expanding the brand, but they are well known for being sketchy at best when it comes to human rights, and are taking heavy criticism for their handling of the Hong Kong situation lately.
A recent report from Sky News has indicated that Mesut Ozil has become the latest person to upset the Chinese regime with his comments criticising their policies towards Uighur Muslims.
This led to China refusing to air the Arsenal vs Man City game yesterday. Sky indicates that China is the Premier League’s most lucrative overseas TV market with the rights being worth £525m in the previous cycle, so it could have a big impact on that money.
It sounds like he’s serously upset China and that could have an impact on negotiations next time the TV rights are up for sale.
It’s now fascinating that football has got its-self into this position where a serious decision between money and integrity will need to be made at some point. Arsenal may come under pressure for a player using their right of free speech to highlight something they believe in, which sounds like it’s a genuine problem that affects a large amount of people.
The question is, will football yet again decide to sweep a problem under the rug to continue it’s damaging relationship with money and some abhorrent regimes?
We probably all know what the answer will be.