British Soccer Team Faces Music Over 'Yids' Chant

Tottenham Hotspur: Cheer is Pushback Against Anti-Semitism

youtube

By JTA

Published November 09, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

London’s Tottenham Hotspur soccer team defended fans who call themselves “Yids,” saying they adopted the term as a defense against anti-Semitic taunting.

The Society of Black Lawyers this week threatened to file a complaint with the Metropolitan police by Nov. 20 unless Tottenham Hotspur and the Football Association make greater efforts to end what they say is anti-Semitic chanting.

In a statement in response, the team said the terms were used to push back against abuse.

“Our fans adopted the chant as a defence mechanism in order to own the term and thereby deflect anti-Semitic abuse,” the team said. “They do not use the term to others to cause any offence.”

Supporters of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club in the 1970s appropriated the terms “Yid,” “Yiddo” and “Yid Army” as a defense against fans from opposing teams who taunted them with the epithets.

Tottenham is a north London neighborhood that in the early 20th century had a substantial Jewish population. The team has long enjoyed Jewish support and was one of the first British teams to farm Israel for players.

The Society of Black Lawyers says Tottenham’s tolerance of the term encourages racist chants from fans of rival teams, often during matches held at Tottenham’s White Hart Lane stadium.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • “'I made a new friend,' my son told his grandfather later that day. 'I don’t know her name, but she was very nice. We met on the bus.' Welcome to Israel."
  • A Jewish female sword swallower. It's as cool as it sounds (and looks)!
  • Why did David Menachem Gordon join the IDF? In his own words: "The Israel Defense Forces is an army that fights for her nation’s survival and the absence of its warriors equals destruction from numerous regional foes. America is not quite under the threat of total annihilation… Simply put, I felt I was needed more in Israel than in the United States."
  • Leonard Fein's most enduring legacy may be his rejection of dualism: the idea that Jews must choose between assertiveness and compassion, between tribalism and universalism. Steven M. Cohen remembers a great Jewish progressive:
  • BREAKING: Missing lone soldier David Menachem Gordon has been found dead in central Israel. The Ohio native was 21 years old.
  • “They think they can slap on an Amish hat and a long black robe, and they’ve created a Hasid." What do you think of Hollywood's portrayal of Hasidic Jews?
  • “I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager. I didn’t think I would have to do it when I was 90.” Hedy Epstein fled Nazi Germany in 1933 on a Kinderstransport.
  • "A few decades ago, it would have been easy to add Jews to that list of disempowered victims. I could throw in Leo Frank, the victim of mob justice; or otherwise privileged Jewish men denied entrance to elite universities. These days, however, we have to search a lot harder." Are you worried about what's going in on #Ferguson?
  • Will you accept the challenge?
  • In the six years since Dothan launched its relocation program, 8 families have made the jump — but will they stay? We went there to find out:
  • "Jewish Israelis and West Bank Palestinians are witnessing — and living — two very different wars." Naomi Zeveloff's first on-the-ground dispatch from Israel:
  • This deserves a whistle: Lauren Bacall's stylish wardrobe is getting its own museum exhibit at Fashion Institute of Technology.
  • How do you make people laugh when they're fighting on the front lines or ducking bombs?
  • "Hamas and others have dredged up passages form the Quran that demonize Jews horribly. Some imams rail about international Jewish conspiracies. But they’d have a much smaller audience for their ravings if Israel could find a way to lower the flames in the conflict." Do you agree with J.J. Goldberg?
  • How did Tariq Abu Khdeir go from fun-loving Palestinian-American teen to international icon in just a few short weeks? http://jd.fo/d4kkV
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.