Just a few months ago, in Qatar, the German football team was forced out for team photos after captain Manuel Neuer was not allowed to wear the One Love armband to send a message of inclusivity. Mouth covered. Fast forward to Orissa and we have the German captain proudly wearing a rainbow armband at the World Cup.
Germany’s men’s hockey team captain Mats Grambusch said he was issuing a statement on behalf of his team. “I’m proud to represent the entire community. This is how we do it,” he says Grambusch.
“In hockey, in high performance, it’s always really hard to say, ‘I’m gay,'” Grambusch said of his inspiration behind wearing the rainbow armband.
“I don’t know of any male athletes at any level who have come out as gay, but looking at the stats, there could be. Sometimes you need other people to stand up for something.” Some may, and they will obey.”
“Why can’t we, as a team, as a people, stand up for them and make their lives easier?” he asked.
This was not an idea Glambusch came up with just before the 2023 FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup. He has worn the rainbow his armband at his club Roth his Weiss his Cologne for the past three years and has carried it on to the sport’s biggest stage, the national team.
“I feel that in Germany and around the world we should be more tolerant and more open about accepting people of other beliefs and sexualities.
Did that FIFA World Cup story sow the question as to whether the German hockey team wanted to adopt the rainbow armband at the FIH Men’s World Cup? is not.
“We were sure we would wear it. It doesn’t matter what the soccer players do. Hockey is different,” he said.
Grambusch wasn’t too keen on the footballer comparisons, but he made a fundamental distinction between the two scenarios. “The values we have, the values we want to express as a team, that’s what we really do. I am not doing anything,” he said.
– Why did FIFA ban LGBTQ OneLove armbands at the World Cup?
Grambusch also said that unlike FIFA, FIH was happy with the idea of Germany wearing the rainbow armband. The German captain said these are important for his team as they are the values they wanted to express.
Oh, remember Arsene Wenger when he said that teams having political demonstrations affected their performance on the field? He has scored 17 goals and has already challenged the Belgian power once. Who says you can’t do it again in a more important match?
Mats Grambusch also has an uncompromising leader who stands up for the values his team stands for.