Thousands of Tottenham Hotspur soccer fans defied police warnings not to use the word “Yid” in their chants during their teams match with West Ham United at White Hart Lane in north London, Sky News reported Monday.
Tottenham fans chanted “We’ll sing what we want” and “Yid Army.” One Tottenham fan was arrested after police promised to be “on the look out” for fans using the offensive word. Chief Superintendent Mick Johnson, the match commander, insisted that “racism and offensive language have no place in football.”
Scotland Yard has threatened Tottenham fans with arrest if they happen to use the word “Yid” in any of their chants even if they happen to be themselves Jewish. They have been warned that the use of the term “Yid” in any public setting amounts to a criminal offense with charges related to racism. Tottenham fans might find themselves booted from attending soccer matches for the foreseeable future, the Inquisitr reported.
The word “Yid” is Yiddish for “Jew.” According to Sky News, the Tottenham club has a massive Jewish following and so its fans have been on the receiving end of antisemitic abuse from their rivals over the years. So, in an act of defiance, they started using the word “Yid” in chants about their team.
Some Tottenham fans hailed their own star players by shouting “Yiddo” at them. “Jermain Defoe, he’s a Yiddo” was heard throughout the match.
On one occasion when Spurs fans sang “Yids,” West Ham supporters responded with loud shouts of “Racists! Racists!”
Both teams feature the word “ham” in their names…
Police arrested one Tottenham supporter on suspicion of using threatening, abusive or insulting words under section 5 of the Public Order Act.
He was held at half-time in the stadium’s East Stand, where he was able to follow the game under politically correct supervision.
Speaking before the game, Chief Supt Johnson said: “This topic has been debated at length but our position is clear – racism and offensive language have no place in football or indeed in society.”
And that includes self-inflicted racism, mister!
“Those supporters who engage in such behavior should be under no illusion that they may be committing an offense and may be liable to a warning or be arrested,” Johnson added.
Last month, British Prime Minister David Cameron, a Conservative, tried to strike a note of sanity when he said Spurs fans who use the word “Yid” should not face prosecution.
The Prime Minister told The Jewish Chronicle: “There’s a difference between Spurs fans self-describing themselves as Yids and someone calling someone a Yid as an insult,” Cameron said. “You have to be motivated by hate. Hate speech should be prosecuted – but only when it’s motivated by hate.”
But police, British or otherwise, are not big on legal subtleties. You can’t say the word “Yid” even if you are one.
If comedian Richard Pryor appeared in England, he’d be spending half his career in jail…
The game ended in a 3-0 victory for West Ham, a bastion of anti-racist fans…
About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.
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