The FA is threatening to prosecute Tottenham Hotspur fans for using the word ‘Yid’ on match days.
Here we go, around the block again.
It’s all part of an FA plan to stamp down on racism and anti-semitic chanting, which are two negative elements of the modern game we all want to see less of.
“Use of the term 'Yid' is likely to be considered offensive by the reasonable observer. Use of the term in a public setting could amount to a criminal offence and leave fans liable to prosecution,” said the FA in a statement.
However, persecuting Tottenham fans for using the word is flawed and fraught with problems for several reasons.
The term has become synonymous with plenty of Tottenham related chants, from the club’s own supporters.
It has become something which commonly goes hand-in-hand with great Tottenham goals, performances and in the case of Jermain Defoe, it’s even in a chant directly about a Tottenham player.
It’s a way Spurs fans, new, old, Jewish, Christian and anything else support their club by creating a wall of noise.
There is pressure on the club to stamp out the word in chants and at any other time it may be used but the roots of how it was first introduced are based on no intention of causing offence.
“Our fans historically adopted the chant as a defence mechanism in order to own the term and thereby deflect anti-Semitic abuse. They do not use the term with any deliberate intent to cause offence,” read a Tottenham statement.
Most Tottenham fans would more than likely consider cutting out some of their most famous chants if it became a club directive such as the manager or the chairman taking a stance over the matter.
It all boils down to using a little bit of common sense. The ‘Yid’ chants are just synonymous with the club, they exist through association. They’re not based on causing offence to the very core foundations the club is based on.
Even practicing Jews who support Tottenham will use the word in chants and commonly when talking about the club because it’s a collective way of describing Spurs fans and the pride that goes along with it.
Tottenham fans shouldn’t be targeted for supporting their own club. It’s the fans of other sides that take anti-semitic chants to the next level that the FA and authorities should be paying more attention to.
Spurs fans, what do you think? Would you stop if the club, not the FA, told you to?
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