It’s a sad day to be a Bayern Munich fan.
The club has abandoned all pretense of values and ethical conduct. Today, on three separate occasions, individuals employed by the team have made statements dismissing the case of Jerome Boateng and his history of domestic abuse.
To preface this, here is what is alleged to have taken place between Boateng and his ex-partner back in 2018, following Germany’s elimination from the World Cup. Boateng was still employed by Bayern Munich at the time:
His ex-girlfriend told the court he punched her, causing her to lose her breath during a heated argument.
According to the indictment, Boateng bit her head and threw her on the ground.
“He hit me in the eye with his thumb, bit me in the head, and pulled me to the ground by my hair,” the woman told the court.
The public prosecutors’ office also accused Boateng of throwing a glass lantern and cooling bag at her.
Boateng was found guilty and sentenced to a fine of 1.2m (via DW) after an appeal. However, the case has now been restarted after a court in Munich threw out the original conviction, citing procedural errors.
That looks bad. However, what’s worse is the fact that, despite everything that has happened, Bayern Munich are looking to bring back Jerome Boateng as a free agent, and nobody at the club seems the least bit bothered by the whole incident.
New sporting director Christoph Freund effectively called it a non-issue, saying that, “private matters are not a big topic for us.” (via @iMiaSanMia)
Joshua Kimmich, a player who has often tried to present himself as socially conscious, came across as exceptionally tone-deaf in his pregame press conference where he said, “It [Boateng’s signing] is not our issue. We don’t make the decision. Many of us have won lots of titles with him. I was pleased to see him again. At the end of the day, it’s not our decision to make.” (via @iMiaSanMia)
However, the worst excuses came from the coach himself. Thomas Tuchel went out of his way to defend Boateng, saying the following:
Tuchel on Jérôme Boateng and the controversy around him: "Innocent until proven guilty when a trial is deferred. As a football club we have the right to make football decisions. Jérôme is a player with great merit and has the right to train with us. You know his position, you… pic.twitter.com/uHqRO0Ty7y— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) October 2, 2023
“I’m not aware of any unrest in the club or the team because of that,” he added. “I understand the discussions among the fans, but the trial is deferred, so innocent until proven guilty applies here.”
Here we have the coach of a fan-owned club effectively discard the opinion of fans on a major issue. This is just astounding.
Honestly, nothing can be said about the Boateng transfer that wasn’t already covered in our podcast. You can listen to it below or on Spotify if you’re interested in an angry (and somewhat despondent) rant.
The statements by these three individuals put a stain on the name of Bayern Munich and bring shame to the fanbase. It makes the club’s efforts to appear progressive and socially conscious seem like a total farce. If the executives have any morals they would axe this entire thing immediately. Instead, the whole affair seems to be going full steam ahead.
The only silver lining is that, given that it’s a fan owned club, you can expect the fans to make themselves heard at the next AGM. A few years ago, Bayern Munich fans almost rioted at the AGM to protest the Qatar Airways sponsorship, which eventually led to the airline declining to renew the contract. Fans can make a difference here, and we will wait to hear what they say.