Mr. Reus, the corona pandemic is capturing millions of Germans at their home. How is everyday life currently for you?
I have an office upstairs that I haven’t used very often before. There is a telescope that I got for my birthday. But now I am much more involved because a lot of things are regulated by video calls. I give interviews about zoom calls. I’m also in regular contact with my advisor about this. My daughter’s nursery is right next to my office. Means: no conferences during their nap. Or I have to make sure to make quiet calls. Otherwise, I luckily have enough space to be able to train at home. Partly via video telephony. Otherwise, I have an incredibly intense time with my daughter, whom I can watch growing a lot more than before. Since I was only on the road.
How do you stay fit at the moment?
I also train at BVB on the training site. But so that everything fits and is safe. And I do a daily program at home. With stabilization exercises and strength exercises. I run, stretch. So I’m on the right track to get really fit again after my injury.
Many employees, but above all the self-employed and freelancers, are currently seriously worried about their existence. What do you get out of it?
We notice every day how hard Corona has hit some people. I have spent most of my life in Dortmund. I was born here. I know the city inside out. Small shops too. The kiosk around the corner. I did not move at some point – I grew up with this city and the people. Scarlett and I follow the news closely and know how Corona is changing Germany and what damage it is doing not only in terms of health but also economically. That’s why we decided to found #HelpYourHometown and give something back to Dortmund.
Together with your wife Scarlett Gartmann, you donated half a million euros for this initiative. What’s the thought behind it?
People are in need through no fault of their own. You didn’t do anything wrong. And now their existence is threatened. I don’t want to accept that. And if I can help something with my half a million, I would be happy to do it.
How much money do you already have – and how do you ensure that this money goes to the right recipients?
Together with the city of Dortmund we initiated the platform “Dortmund, we stand behind you”. All entrepreneurs who come from Dortmund and are looking for help can register there. Of course we cannot help everyone, but we will try to filter out the right cases together with the city of Dortmund and then support them.
How did you decide to become active yourself?
I don’t think there is anyone who is left unaffected by the Corona threat and its aftermath. You hear new frustrating news every day. Always new deaths. For us, it was therefore not about whether we help, but how. There are also many other great campaigns that are worth supporting. But I have this special connection to Dortmund. I always wanted to play at this club and I really wanted to give something back to this city.
Not only are you privately active, you also waived part of your salary together with your teammates from Borussia Dortmund in order to secure jobs in the club. Did all colleagues move in immediately?
At BVB we have kind people in the club. They help us players wherever they can. A club is never just made up of players, managers and coaches. There are always a lot of good employees involved. Without them, BVB wouldn’t be the club I love. Therefore, the willingness to forego salary is nothing to be patted on the back for. But of course.
How is contact with teammates and coaches taking place at the moment?
We have a WhatsApp group that we talk about.
A few game days were last canceled on which you would have been missing anyway due to injury. Should the Bundesliga continue – as planned – in May, what are the chances of your commitment?
I am fine. We adjusted the rehab plan a bit, given the extra time I have now. I will play again in May.
The interview was conducted via email.