Kick It Out have produced a new film entitled the Y-Word featuring our own Ledley King and Gary Lineker, which focuses on the use of the term ‘Yid’ and it’s various derivatives, in English football.

Spurs fans, who have suffered years of anti-Semitic abuse, have taken to adopting the word as a positive label to identify themselves and Tottenham’s players. In doing so the theory is that it robs the word of it’s power, in much the same way that the black community have appropriated the ‘n-word’.

Kick It Out argues that by using the term, Tottenham fans are making it more socially acceptable for our rivals fans to use in a casual manner. Do you agree? Should we stop using the ‘Y-word’, or is it a positive thing to do?

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36 COMMENTS

  1. this old chestnut..
    although to be fair with all the coverage of the elephants song, it made fans think twice before singing it last night and in Madrid to a large extent.

  2. That is a stupid video. Nowhere in the video was ‘Yido’ being used offensively, only the Arsenal fans singing about Auschwitz was offensive and even then ‘Yids’ could have easily been replaced with ‘Jews’ and the chant would have sounded exactly the same, probably worse.

    • Nowhere was the term [email protected]@er being used offensively. I think some Jews would argue that it’s use is offensive full stop. Shame that our identity is being taken away, but football tribes don’t carry the same weight as ethnic groups or other communities. No political points for sticking up for Spurs fans.

      • The use of the word “yid” is not ingrained in our history, and only came about in the late 70’s or early 80’s.

        I was brought up in Hackney in the 50’s when it was acceptable to be anti-semitic. I know better now, and I would not be sorry to see Yid removed from our identity because I always associate it with malice and ignorance.

        Just thinking about it, can you imagine the problem if our roots had been in Brixton?

  3. As a black fan, I’m pretty sensitive to race issues in football, but this is a PC step too far. I have a jewish friend who supports Chelsea and hates the fact we use it. I tried pointing out the irony of a chelsea fan complaining about it’s use, but my argument fell on deaf ears, and I think our protests about the reason why we use it will be treated the same way. You watch. People will start getting banned for it soon, putting a negative spin back on a word that (at least in one part of north london) had been flipped completely on its head. I’d be willing to bet that most of our younger fans don’t even know why we call ourselves that, or what the word even means. All they know is that it positively identifies them as a Spurs fan, and they’re proud of it. Watch the authorities take that pride away!

  4. I think if Spurs want to be a big team on the world stage, fans should stop using this word period. It means nothing and has nothing to do with supporting a football club regardless of any history behind it. I am a palestinian and to be honest I always have to defend supporting a “jewish” club. I know that it isnt but use of this word makes my argument the more harder..

    • Being a big club has nothing to do with racism. Spain was for a long time, one of the most racists crowds you could ever face, while Real Madrid were and still are one of the best teams in the world.

  5. For what it’s worth, I’ve never felt comfortable with the word.

    I remember when that buffoon Ken Bates raised the issue of whether it was wrong to call us “yids” when we called ourselves that, and wondered if how he would address a black man?

    On the other hand, I hate all this political correctness when we talk about the “N word”. Lets face it, the people who use this sort of language are usually the same sort of people who complain that Britain is a dump because of the number of immigrants there are. They are very rarely going to rise from the bottom of the pile, because they don’t even want to do the jobs that immigrants are prepared to do. “Clean toilets? Me? I’m far too good for that”.

    To sum it up, it’s not language I would use, but on the other hand, if someone want’s to be moron, they should have every right to be a moron.

    Finally it’s worth mentioning that Ajax used to have a similar identity, but the local Jewish support declined as a result. Eventually it fell into abeyance. Perhaps it would be better for prominent Jews including DL to make his opinion heard on it. The thing about the sort of people who will use the word “yid” in a pejorative term, is that if they know it hurts you, they are more likely to use it. It is possible that this video may be causing a greater problem in the short term, than really exists at present.

    • This is the problem with PC. Somehow or other, you get people raising issues such as Palestine which are nothing to do with the issue.

      Spurs has a traditional Jewish support because of immigration from the late 19th century to the early 20th century. Immigarmts have traditionally started in the poorest areas, and Stamford Hill and South Tottenham was the home of many first generation immigrants. If they liked football, we were the local club.

      • When I mentioned that I am palestinian I had no intention whatsoever to start any argument about palestine-israel. This is not the place as you rightly so mentioned. All what I am saying is that the Y word labels our club with something that it isnt.

      • Yes, I know it all seems a long way away when you’re on the island… Maybe if it was happening in Essex youd understand its importance. But what the issue, I’m Spurs, I’m not Jewish.

    • Stratty, people like you are the worst kind of racists. You are bringing up a political war between 2 nations to try and put forward your own agenda. The Yids describes the Jews and as far as I’m aware the trouble in the Middle East has nothing to do with the Jewish Spurs fan who turns up to every game. Yet you are trying to subtley put across the Jews as evil by describing them as the ‘invaders’, a word with Nazi connotations. People like you make me genuinely sick, pushing your own bigotted views on a forum that is about trying to battle racism. What a horrible person you must be.

  6. What sickens me about this is that a rich Chelsea supporter notices (rather belatedly) a bunch of racist Chelsea supporters behaving very badly and (even more belatedly) introduces this campaign to stop them (and by association us) doing it. None of these new and ernest people were to be seen when Arse and Chelski supporters turned up at WHL every year and sang anti-semitic songs and hissed in imitation of the gas chambers. I am proud of our history, and proud of the fact that our supporters had the imagination to turn an insult on its head and beat a bunch of racists. Should we stop doing it – NO – not if we believe in the majesty and imaginativeness of our history.

  7. Absolutely ridiculous as a Jewish fan in a world where casual racism is is about as natural as brushing your teeth i am v. proud fo the fact that 40k fans (mostly non jewish) happily accept the clubs roots.

    I am quite surprised how West Ham haven’t a mention with their colourful, ‘we’ve got a foresking haven’t you, f**king jews’.

    • Jord: It’s cause and effect. If we did not associate ourselves with Jews, they would not use this chant, But on the other hand, they would then resort to some other insult.

      Incidentally, you might expect Abramovich to want to take a stance against some of the Chelski chants, bearing in mind that he is also Jewish.

      • I would expect him to yes. And I dont think it is cause and effect – Man Utd commemorate the munich air crash annually yet the scousers enjoyed bringing it up in song (who’s that dying on the runway)… Now this chant has been forgotten. Cause and effect shouldn’t stop people being proud of what their team stands for and there are plenty of other insults to chant about without resorting to racism

        • Jord: I meant cause and effect with regard to your para
          “‘we’ve got a foresking haven’t you, f**king jews’.

          If we did not associate ourselves with Jews, they would not use this chant. But as I said, if it wasn’t that, it would be something else. Alf Garnett may not have been known before 1965, but he has been around a lot longer than that.

          • Just re-read this post, and realise that it might be misunderstood. I was not saying that we disassociate ourselves from Jews, only that because we do associate ourselves with Jews, other teams make anti semitic chants. That’s the cause and effect.

            Remember years ago when Peter Shilton was caught “playing away” with another woman? The chant of the day was “Does your wife know where you are”? “Playing away” was the cause, and the song, the effect.

          • haranguing a player for something he did is different from racially abusing a player though. Yid army the cause, the yids are sh*t at football chants would be the effect

  8. I am black, not Jewish. I have worn my spurs top in various parts of the country (no game on), and people have chanted to me: “who let the yids out” – in a friendly manner. It is what defines us, in a similar way that US urban culture has reclaimed the n-word… There too, you have non black people calling themselves by the n-word. The stigma, and weight of the word is lost. It is only racist in context. Like the Adebayor song – which is not racist, but when sung by someone who is racist, it is a different story. If you remove the word, then racists will say something else. It is only a word. Let’s not focus too much on the word, and focus on the context, and who is saying it. However, having said that, if enough Jewish Spurs fans would like us to stop using “the y-word”, then we would accept this…. We have other things that define us: the brilliant slooow “when the Spurs go marching in” song. Great support last night.

  9. Lets get one thing straight YID is not racisim. Yid is a shortened version of YIDDISH which is a language. It is derived from hebrew slang and was used my migrating jews throughout eastern europe so that they could communicate with each other.
    YIDDISH/YID is a language, NOT A RACE OR RELIGION
    Frank Lampard ought to realise that there is more to this world than just Footbal and PC

    • It’s all about context. To describe someone as “black” is not racist, but as a “fucking black”, it is. I accept what you say, but “yid” has often been used pejoratively and most likely always will be.

  10. Unfortunately these kinds of political investment into social scenarios only serve to reignite feuds and intensify polarisation. Anti-Semitism and racism of any kind is a basic reaction from a certain minority of bigots. I’m Irish and will get pigeon holed as the usual stereo-typical ‘paddy’ often enough. However, I know and understand when this is remarked with a pure sense of malice and belief, or something else. The fact is that anyone acting or commenting in a racist manner with a pure belief in what they represent only deserves to be pitied and this is precisely what the owning of the ‘Yid’ chant has incorporated. The Tottenham chant, and other mirroring situations, belittle and pity those who project such a term as a mark of their superior otherness. It phatically recognises the act of racism as something that highlights a person(s) condition of being a fool.

    It is understandable that action is taken in an a attempt to quell intense faction hatred that results in tangible and dangerous representation which can grow to a critical mass – Celtic and Rangers come to mind within the football world. But here there is a mistake being made. Although the word is used now by both spurs and opposing supporters it is not formally a consignment to racial tension, if anything it may serve to function as the opposite, giving the Jewish population a clear and uncontested claim upon an important edified corner stone within society which PL football clubs can represent.

    Society is, in itself, a self regulating system where the parts of the whole, if not showing any true signs of serious antagonism to other parts, normalise to equilibrium where the whole is accepting of its sum. Political intervention remains an outside source of influence, not belonging to the whole, but actually the guardian of it. If politics is seen to act un-necessarily, it introduces a variable that actually disempowers those parts that are represented by it, denaturalising them in the process.

    This video does make me more sensitive to the chant ‘Yid’, or to chant Yid myself, but is it right to make me feel like this? The add is completely unbalanced and a severely biased misrepresentation of the issue. I don’t know if anyone in the video is Jewish but there is not one direct claim that the term ‘Yid’ is offensive personally to an individual Jew. Each claim refers to the ‘N’ word, or the ‘P’ word, or we have Gary Liniker…! I’m sorry, but none of these issues – the ‘N’ word issue, the ‘P’ word issue, or the ‘C’ word issue – can be bundled into a single category and dealt with, each is an historical and progressive issue that has overcome separate and unique obstacles and can only be understood by those who were oppressed within that fields of experience. Where are the people who can comment on whether or not this aspect of society incorporating such a slogan has improved relations? I’m sure they are out there, have they not got a right to be represented since theirs is the issue?! Is this not an opportunity to commend the positives of football in London and instead to passionately erase the negative and not highlight?!

    This video smacked of an episode of Brass Eye, a TV show from the 90s that I hope some of you saw. However, where Brass Eye cut through the common insult by institutions to societies’ intelligence with satire, this act, and many like it, makes a satire of society by claiming that institutional knowledge pre-empts the actualisation of a self-defining society.
    This is one of the greatest challenges to citizens of today’s western society to overcome.

    Finally, I make a plea to all those who have real social experience and stories of the ‘Yid’ experience to clarify to all where this issue truly stands. It is entirely for my education too, but essentially it is an opportunity to justly debate, and not debunk through hearsay, an issue that should not be taken for granted.

    • Just a thought about what you say, “Paki” was not originally a pejorative term, and was used initially in the same way as “Aussie”. However, it quickly became “Fucking Paki”, and then got to the stage, where you no longer needed to add the expletive.

      I recall I had a Pakistani friend in the early 70’s who introduced himself as “Zaki the Paki”, before it became a term of abuse.

  11. Some interesting points above. I for one love that spurs have adopted the yids name. My 18 month old son sings the ‘yids’ song and even does the banging that preceeds the chant. It’s my fav footy chant. I won’t be stopping using the term. Freedom of speech. YIDS!!!

  12. why does lineker get to say the word ‘yids’? even IF he is jewish, that doesn’t really justify it. consider this, the film says the y-word is just as bad as the n-word, but if ledley were to say the n-word in the movie there’d be an uproar

  13. I went to Wigan a few years ago, we had never played them before to my knowldge, and sitting amongst the Wigan fans straight when we came uout of the tunnel we had hissing, gas the bastards, send them to Auschtitz, comments

    This was from all genders, ages and was quite upsetting for my Jewish friends. We tried to move seats but were conned by the police who said we could move but then escorted us out of the ground after 30 minutes of the match

    we then wrote to Dave Whlean the Wigan chairman who treated us with contempt

    The racial stuff is active and needs stamping on , as I have to say is the foul language , but that is another project , perhaps Rooney should lead that!

  14. David Baddiel got nothing better to do, what about the song My yiddisher momma, thats been about for years and is still played regularly. You have a problem supporting a team which has no history a music hall joke and a manager who has a funny habit of raising 1 eyebrow.

  15. I am a Aberdeen fan and we for years have turned round the offending chats by away supporters “sheep sh$%ing Ba$£%&ds” by singing it about ourselves with great effect. The Yid issue has been turned around by the Spurs fans in much the same way. Leave it alone as offence has been minimalised by Spurs doing that.

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