Semi Final Anti Semitism?

Update – 11.09 David Baddiel, the creator of the Y Word video, just tweeted my saying that he  “agree with everything you say…”


As an Arsenal fan I took much joy in the result from Wembley yesterday and after keeping quiet for a very long time started having some ‘banter’ with all my Spurs supporting friends.

Last night, amongst the other comments I posted to my friends, after seeing all the empty seats in Wembley, I wrote,

“Spurs fans support your team .. Shows you have no class leaving early”
I was slightly surprised and not a little shocked by the reply that came back from one of my friends who was at the game,
“Lol u actually joking.. No class, spurs fans… Chelsea fans foul mouthing Jews as I walked down Wembley way, Nazi saluting in the stadium and then booing during 1 minute silence for the 96…”
A lot has been reported in the press about the behaviour of the Chelsea fans during the minute’s silence for the Hillsborough disaster. But as my friend highlights the problems were not restricted to one minute.
I was taken aback by this response and saddened to read that this is still going on today. Chelsea Football Club should take action urgently against these fans and ban them for life.
But it does open up an interesting discussion in regard to the Spurs fans who complain about this sort of behaviour. The majority of my friends who are spurs fans call themselves “Yids”. Throughout the game you could hear them using this word.
Last year I was invited to the House of Commons to see the launch of this video.

As you will see the term Yid has huge anti-Semitic connotations. As they rightly point out, it is against the law to call someone a Yid in the street – so why do Spurs fans feel that they can get away with using the word, even if they are describing themselves?

Chelsea should be ashamed of their supporters – their supporters should be banned for life from football games – but Spurs fans should also look at themselves and think carefully about whether they should use this word about themselves. Those who would argue that they are ‘reclaiming’ a previously abhorrent word should consider whether they are, in fact, creating a climate where it is more likely that a horribly offensive word will be used.


4 Responses to Semi Final Anti Semitism?

  1. JacoZA says:

    I hear what you’re saying, but telling Spurs fans to stop using the Y-word is like telling African American’s to stop using the N-word. I can call myself whatever I want, but that doesn’t give anyone else the right to do so, y’know what I mean?

  2. Dave says:

    Yeah, those Spurs fans, with their proud chant about themselves, are morally equivalent to the Chelsea ones making Nazi salutes. That seems completely logical…

  3. Max says:

    because we call ourselves Yids in celebration we promote facism? Because hearing Spurs Are On Their Way To Aushwitz we are supposed to turn the other cheek? We dont have time for advanced social theory, we have 90 minutes to win the match and then we all go home, safe in the knowledge we are not getting children to saulte the Furher ( as the twitter picture which is 5 years old suggests – I wonder if she was there yesterday? ).

  4. Ed says:

    JacoZA, Not all Spurs fans are Jewish. This might seem incredibly obvious, but if you want to argue that there is a direct equivalence between Spurs fans using the Y-word and black people using the N-word then this rather undermines that point.

    Clearly opposing fans who spout anti-semitic bile are in the wrong and I think the original blogpost makes it quite clear that those fans should be dealt with robustly – banned for life/ arrested etc – but the video makes it quite clear why the Y-word is incredibly offensive and why it would be far better if no one used it.

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