Over the last week, Bayern Munich came concerningly close to re-signing Jerome Boateng as a backup defender after news of Matthijs de Ligt and Tarek Buchmann’s prolonged injuries.
When asked about Boateng’s unjustifiable actions off the pitch, the club officials seemed to simply gloss over this aspect of the signing and focus on the sporting aspect.
In particular, a statement from newly appointed sporting director Christoph Freund stood out:
“The sporting side is the most important for us. Private matters are not a big topic for us. Everyone can have their opinion.” — Christoph Freund
During Werder Bremen’s game against TSG Hoffenheim this weekend, last-minute drama was not the only standout. Bremen fans brought along a banner condemning Freund’s statement, which read “Violence against women is not a private matter. Christoph Freund, shut up!” in German.
More so, a spokesperson from Terre des Femmes: a German non-profit organization committed to human rights for girls & women made a statement further condemning Freund’s comments.
“Domestic violence is never a ‘private matter’ - regardless of whether it comes from prominent professional footballers or from a work colleague, a neighbor or a best friend. The statement by the Bayern sporting director was a fatal signal - to all fans, to the public, to those affected, and, last but not least, to abusers (..) As a society, we must take a clear position against domestic violence, including as an employer or as a sports club. The club with the most members in Germany should take responsibility for that”
While the club eventually decided against the signing, it did not save them or Freund from harsh criticism.
Hopefully, this serves as a constant reminder of the club’s failure to recognize the very ethics it is based on so that they never try to pull such a stunt again.