German Soccer Player Boycotts Israel

October 11, 2007

The story of a German soccer player has suddenly become an international story. Ashkan Dejagah is an Iranian-born soccer player on the German national youth team.

He refused last week to play a game in Israel due to “personal” reasons. It later became known that the personal reasons are political reasons based on his discomfort with the state of Israel.

The team initially supported his decision but has since come to their senses once the politicians became involved. Ashkan Dejagah was permanently kicked off the German team today.

One can understand the feelings of a young man conflicted. Perhaps he faced pressure from Iranian relatives. Perhaps they were genuinely personal political feelings. For whatever reason, he has a right to his decision.

But with rights also come consequences for decisions. Team sports are about teams, not individuals making political statements. Even if his decision had not been so explosively controversial he must still be expected to pay a price for letting his team down.

The German squad did the right thing in the end.

[tags]Ashkan Dejagah[/tags]

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