Anti Semitic or Term Of Endearment?


Yes, the big issue on everyone’s lips at the moment is the move by the FA to remove the chants from the Spurs fans that have been part of our club for many many years.

Someone has made a complaint to the FA, so they have contacted the Club to make enquiries.  From what i have heard, if the Club are unable to guarantee that the chants are non anti Semitic,  the FA are considering making us play our home games ‘behind closed doors’ until such time the songs are ended.

The Club are apparently going to write to every season ticket holder (so i will get a letter) asking for our views on the matter.

Regardless of the result, I am seriously worried about the FA and regarding a Rigged Survey.

More to the point, instead of the FA making us out to be the villains,  they should be knocking on the doors of Chelsea and West Ham supporters who make obscene chants towards our Jewish supporters and even worse, make ‘Gas’ noises etc.  In my opinion, this is utterly disgraceful, and this is what the FA should be looking at.

Tis is obviously an emotive issue,  so the question i am asking all Spurs fans to consider and answer is a simple one.  Are we as Spurs supporters being Anti Semitic or are we just using it as a Term Of Endearment ??

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  1. I am torn on this one. As Spurs fans, we grow up learning the word stands for Spurs fans FIRST, then we later learn that it also has another controversial meaning…. Not being Jewish, I cannot comment on how inappropriate the term is. But as a Spurs fan, I can honestly say that the sentiment is harmless, and even bordering on pro-Jewish – in an inadvertent way. Having ethnic blood, I can somewhat put myself in the shoes and someone who may be disturbed by the usage of the term… Anyway, I believe that the ONLY people who can comment on this are people who are of BOTH sides of the argument: Jewish SPURS fans. It is up to them to tell us whether we should stop or continue. Not a Jewish comedian CHELSEA fan – who has offended more people through his comedy routines than the usage of a 3-letter word….

  2. This whole affair is an indictment on the FA. Spurs fans call themselves Yids with pride, Chelscum fans denegrate our Jewish roots and reference one of the worst atrocities in human history as a part of their chants towards us. Who is in the wrong here? SMH

  3. Am a Jewish Spurs fan. I have no issue with the 'Yid' chants, actually take pride in it. I do understand why some who have not seen/ experienced it might get offended. What really infuriates me is how all of this shines the light at Spurs fans rather than the perpetrators of racist and antisemitic chants. Guess shouldn't be too surprised if in the end we are held to blame – maybe they don't like my ethnic background!

  4. They only need to visit a game to understand. Why would the chants be anti semitic while some fans even accompany Spurs banners with the Star of David. I have said this on a few blogs and I feel it is the best way of summing it up.
    A/ Our chants are inclusive ie if a player plays well he is one of us .. a Yiddo
    B/ Back in the days when anti-semitism was rife we did the 'I am Spartacus' thing and when a small contingent of our jewish fanbase were called 'Yids' (in an exclusive – you are not one of us way, by opposition fans) We said, if thats the case, we are all Yids, standing shoulder to shoulder against fascism and anti-semitism. This is many a Spurs fans reason to hang on to this part of our history, we are proudly inclusive of other creeds, religions and culture. This is a diametric opposite to what we are being accused of.
    C/ Other fans react badly to us taking the higher moral ground and play up. We can not and should not have any responsibility for other fans behaviour. As I mentioned before our chants include. Other fans exclude(and even a Chelsea Goalie once) doing Nazi salutes, hissing to emulate gas chambers, throwing bananas and a host of other racist and anti-social behaviors. The FA needs to deal with the actual abuse not a group standing against bad behaviour.

  5. you have to remember Alan Sugars legal win against the FA on points deduction and remember that they will always take the easy target to further prove that they couldnot do their job properly if it killed them

  6. I'm a Hug fan of Ajax and Hotspurs. I live in Amsterdam and I have season tickets to Ajax. After the match I rush home to watch my Spurs play on t.v… In Amsterdam we Chant Jews! and Super Jews.. Because the history of our team.. Ajax was in a Jewish neighborhood and had several Jewish players back in the early 1900´s.. We won everything for many of years.. So the hate for Ajax has gone a long way in Football history.. Amsterdam was a busy and economic city before the war.. The Jewish community helped support and help put money back into the city to make it one of the best in the world at that time.. So other city were alittle jealous of our city and Football club.. We sing Jewish songs for the respect of our old Jewish community that brought so much in for our City and our beloved Ajax team. We sing also for the respect for the lost of over 30,000 Jews that died during the Nazi take over in Amsterdam.. We also get alot of sounds that are not pleasant from other teams and nothing is done to penalize the fans.. We only sing our songs now to pay respect for the lost Jewish community and I am proud be to a Ajax and Hotspurs fan and proud that our team were brought up in Jewish communites! And We sing our songs for love and respect of our team and the community that gave these teams so much.. Thank you for making this website and I enjoy reading it everyday but this subject was alittle sensitive with me..

  7. You are totally right, it is an emotive issue.
    First and foremost, in my opinion, the use BY SPURS FANS of the Y word is not anti semitic. It is chanted as a badge of honour, "We are different, have a heritage and are proud".
    However, the argument does not end there.
    The problem with labelling ourselves with a particular religion, is that when the insults come back, they ARE racist. We call Arsenal fans "Gooner scum", but if the retort is "Yid scum" it is unacceptable and, whether explicit or implicit, it is racism.
    I have had a season ticket since 1976/7, and am a Jewish fan, and until this debate started had no problems, hearing the Yid chants or even singing them myself.
    If our heritage was having Black owners, or Indian, or Muslim, would it be acceptable to refer to ourselves as the racist terms I could (but won't) list here? I remember the 70's and early 80's television fare of Alf Garnett, Love thy Neigbour, and Mixed Blessings etc, and terms used then, are wholly unacceptable now.
    Would it be ok to use the racist words from that period now, just as it was nostalgic, and branded us "unique"?
    Again, in my opinion, no, and that is why, regardless of what our past is, we really have to think about moving forward; I will miss the "yiddo, yiddo " song, sung on the rare occasions when we are flying, but really, if people genuinely are offended, and equally importantly, we attract proper racism responses from (mostly mindless) away fans, then it's time for a change.

  8. Spurs fans using the term Yid is a way of diffusing the negativity of the word when it is used against us. In the 1960's, when the civil rights struggle was in full swing, Muhammad Ali used to describe himself as a a "bad N**g*r", turning the terms used by his critics into a badge of pride. The answer is simple; get rid of the real racists and bigots and you will do away with the need for others to us their own labels against them. .

  9. Ok, first of all it should be the FA proving that it is anti-semitic, not down to the club to prove it is not which is a bizarre approach of looking at guilt. Secondly, it clearly isn't anti-semitic considering Eriksen, after a sublime display was rewarded with the chant which proves beyond doubt it's used as a term of affection and pride…there's no 'anti' involved in any way, shape or form which the police themselves have also clarified as a reason why they would not seek prosecution of individuals. Thirdly, and most importantly, I find it absolutely shocking and grossly offensive that whenever this debate, or threat of action arises it is always ourselves that become the focus, the one club where it's abundantly clear it is not used in a derogatory manner. I find that focus from the FA in itself to show a deeply disturbing agenda against a club known for it's Jewish support.

    If the FA really want to tackle this the right way then concentrate first on those fans of clubs that clearly use the term in a derogatory fashion such as Chelsea and particularly West Ham. Deal with that in a clear zero-tolerance manner until it's stamped out and then come back to us, make a case that our chants, while not bigoted are perhaps misguided, and since there's no longer justification in terms of defending ourselves against bigotry, no longer necessary. Make it fair and we'll listen, but the current approach in my opinion is making the FA themselves look bigoted.

  10. I just watched BT Sports Life's a Pitch programme, where this very question was debated.

    As a life-long Spurs fan, I feel that the use of the Y-word vocalised by Spurs fans is fine. However, if it is causing offence then we should stop.

    However, the far greater issue for me is that the FA have singled out THFC. Surely they should also aim this at every other club, whether using the Y-word to abuse a jewish player or as an abusive chant at Spurs fans.

    I have never been to a Spurs game where our fans have chanted anti-semitic abuse at opposing fans. What the FA can't understand is that we use towards our own players…it comes from pride, not hatred.

    Can the FA seriously consider our use of the word internally, if you like, the same as the chant "Spurs are on their way to Auschwitz?" or the reproduced sounds of the hissing of the gas chambers?

    As I said, maybe it is time to stop using the Y-word, but instead of the FA using THFC fans as an example of anti-jewish activities (which in itself is ridiculous) they should concentrate on the fans of other clubs who do use the term, not with pride, but with intent to cause offense.

  11. Our Fans have nothing to fear from our chants but if our Jewish community's vote against using a word some Jewish people feel is a derogatory slang word not a term of endearment . I have never used the word Y myself and prefer Cockerel but i also no a lot of our fans like it and use the Word and i no they chant the word with affection for our beloved Club like i say let the Jewish community decide.

  12. I think if the chant of the Y word is causing offense we should stop. (Personally I have stopped many years back but that was a personal choice). I would like to suggest we engage with our Jewish supporters and the Jewish community to find another Jewish word we could chant that would not cause offense but would still allow us to show our roots and our appreciation of players. That way we could still be allowed to chant but would have taken away any chance that it could be considered offensive (And yes I know it is used as a term only in a positive way at Spurs but we should respect other peoples views that it causes offence)

  13. I am Yid, a real one. I'm not offended by the word. Why should I. That's what I am and proud of it. I totally agree that FA should concentrate on West Ham and Chelsea supporters. What they do is disgraceful and offending not only to Jewish supporters, but any human. For God's sake your fathers were fighting nazis and many died. Have some respect.

  14. Thousands of Jews are in WHL for every home game, hundreds of them will be singing the 'Y-chants, are they being anti-semitic? It's the fools at the FA, you could not make it up.

  15. A term of endearment, definitely. I have been a Yid since I was 5, and am now retired, but still class my self a Yid & I'm not Jewish. Please shut up FA and leave our club alone.

  16. I have knocked you Cheeky on a few occasions where i thought you were off your rocker, but i have to say from now on i will only have the fullest respect for you. It is great that you have brought this out in the open, and i can only thank you personally for what you wrote on such a disturbing issue. I am Jewish myself and sing along with the rest of them. I agree the FA should be looking at the other clubs whose chants are designed solely to offend. I am not offended by the chants and neither are my Jewish friends. Leave us alone FA and do something to help the game of football rather than continuing to try and bring THFC's name into the mud.

  17. A most moving piece Cheeky, and as always i agree with you 100%. It obviously is sung from the heart and is solely a term of endearment.

  18. They only need to visit a game to understand. Why would the chants be anti semitic while some fans even accompany the chants with Spurs banners with the Star of David on them. I would like to see a poll of the Jewish fans and season ticket holders asking if they would like to see this tradition die. If they wanted it to stop then I am sure the rest of the fans would agree (with the occasional bit of forgetfulness). The wider community if they do not go to the game are unaffected by this dilemma and as such are not relevant to vote.

  19. How many more times are the FA going to try and bring our great club down. Of course it is not anti-semitic. It has been used for years upon years. It is once again political correctness gone wrong. The club should not be held to ransom over this especially with the FA saying we might have to play our matches behind closed doors.

  20. I live in Croatia and the 'n' word is the name of a country (slightly different accent on the e). So if I say the name of that country, am I being racist? Of course not. I can say the same word and mean two different things by it. The same as Spurs fans using 'Yid' in a non-racist context or some other fans using it abusively, even though they are probably not even antisemitic.
    I personally think the debate about whether Spurs fans should use the word educates a lot of people, whereas a gagging order only invites ignorance.

  21. As you say in your piece, the FA could easily 'Rig' the figures in an effort to bring the club and fans into disrepute. We all know the FA have things against us and will do anything to hurt us and bring us down. Its no coincidence that we are now in a position to actually push forward and are currently in the top 3, that the FA now decide to push forward on this matter. It was never mentioned when we were struggling – no need for teh FA to have a pop at us. Now we are giving the so-called top 4 a run for their money, the FA's timing leaves a lot to be desired. Is it a conspiricy.

  22. Lifelong Spurs fan and Irish. When Spurs fans refer to themselves as Yid and chant the name it is respecting the roots of the fan base. As an Irish catholic I refer to myself as Yid and proud of it when talking to fans of other teams. The FA should respect this and as previous contributors have said, cut out the derogatory chanting of other fans against Spurs. COYS

  23. Very moving subject, but it appears it's the FA that have the problem, not anyone else. Even our own Jewish fans realise it's a term of endearment, and we even get the Prime Minister on our side. So i say to the FA, get a life.

  24. As a lifelong Spurs fan i fully understand why we adopted the Yid term to counteract chants from 2bob clubs however as not being of Jewish descent i was always slightly confused as to why i would sing my heart out for a race of people to which i was not affiliated. I would still however miss chanting the word but feel the only people who can really decide are the Jewish people themselves and if it presents a problem to them then maybe it's time to decide on a new chant.


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