Just in case we weren’t clear the first time he said it, Toni Kroos wants us all to know that he saw no signs of racism within the DfB so we shouldn’t believe anyone who claimed they did.

45-minute read: Mesut Ozil – A casualty of a divided world

The former Bayern Munich man, who is both white and of single-nationality, previously spoke about the German racism affair (we shouldn’t call it the ‘Ozil affair’ as he did nothing wrong and it puts the focus on the wrong thing) to deny that racism is a problem but felt that point needed to be reiterated.

While Ilkay Gundogan has backed up Ozil’s view of events and Jerome Boateng has called criticism of the player ‘unfair’, Kroos has joined the likes of Uli Hoeness, Joachim Low, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Lukas Podolski, Per Mertesacker and others in denying racism is a problem.

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JUNE 17: Germany players show their dejection following Mexico's first goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group F match between Germany and Mexico at Luzhniki Stadium on June 17, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA – JUNE 17: Germany players show their dejection following Mexico’s first goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group F match between Germany and Mexico at Luzhniki Stadium on June 17, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)

Interesting groupings there, I’m sure you would agree.

“I think that it [the situation surrounding Ozil’s claims] doesn’t say anything about German football,” Kroos told reporters at a news conference.

“Respectively, for years we have been proving the opposite of what has been said. This was an individual case, a special one to which I expressed my opinion about a few weeks ago.

“Particularly the racism charges against the DFB and the president, I can only refuse in my opinion.

“Everything that happened around it, in the stadiums or in other statements, I did not comment on, but only the accusations against the DFB and the president, which is part of the DFB.

“And this is absolutely to be rejected. In this form and harshness, it was not appropriate.

“I think we have proved the contrary for years, and we as a national team have been a role model for all society on how it [integration] can work.

“Players of every culture were welcome and [we] built together a team. That’s all on this topic.”

45-minute read: Mesut Ozil – A casualty of a divided world

Take it slowly

KAZAN, RUSSIA - JUNE 27: Mesut Oezil of Germany looks dejected following his sides defeat in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group F match between Korea Republic and Germany at Kazan Arena on June 27, 2018 in Kazan, Russia. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images, )
KAZAN, RUSSIA – JUNE 27: Mesut Oezil of Germany looks dejected following his sides defeat in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group F match between Korea Republic and Germany at Kazan Arena on June 27, 2018 in Kazan, Russia. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Let’s take this slowly for those, like Kroos, who are struggling with this. I’ve said it all before but I’m going to keep repeating it until these people grasp how it works.

Mesut Ozil charged the DfB with racism, Ilkay Gundogan said he suffered racial abuse. Neither said there was racial abuse within the squad.

Reinhard Grindel, the DfB president even admitted he should have done more to protect Ozil yet many still have an impossible time wrapping their heads around a simple concept – just because you do not see or experience discrimination, it does not mean it does not exist!

Nor can many tell the difference between ‘racism’ and ‘racial abuse’.

KAZAN, RUSSIA - JUNE 27: Mesut Oezil of Germany looks dejected following his sides defeat in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group F match between Korea Republic and Germany at Kazan Arena on June 27, 2018 in Kazan, Russia. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images, )
KAZAN, RUSSIA – JUNE 27: Mesut Oezil of Germany looks dejected following his sides defeat in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group F match between Korea Republic and Germany at Kazan Arena on June 27, 2018 in Kazan, Russia. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images, )

Those who suffer from any sort of discrimination, be it because of their race, gender or sexuality are well-tuned to picking it up, even in its most subtle forms. People like every Bayern Munich puppet who has spoken against Ozil, Per Mertesacker, and Lukas Podolski who also said racism is not a problem in the German camp, don’t experience the discrimination so rarely, if ever, notice it because it doesn’t concern them.

This isn’t a hard concept to grasp if people would stop taking it as a personal accusation that they are racists and understand that it is possible for someone to feel discriminated against without you noticing. That doesn’t mean you are actively participating, but please, for the sake of common sense, can we stop telling people from minorities what they feel and experience doesn’t exist or matter.

If Ozil was as mentally weak as his detractors would have us believe, then the events of this summer should have destroyed him. He has been all but abandoned by his home country that worshipped him for years, blamed for their failure at the World Cup despite helping win it for them four years earlier, left to stand on his own as he challenges racism, and had to watch as his character is dissected and devalued in public across the world.

Who wouldn’t crumble under the weight of that?

45-minute read: Mesut Ozil – A casualty of a divided world

But, in fact, Ozil hasn’t crumbled. He has, however, been left swinging by the majority of his national teammates and that must feel like an unbelievably lonely place to be right now.

We don’t all live in the same world. It’s time more people realised that.