A bit of a rehash on an old article I wrote on this before, but I feel it needs re-telling…
Two sections here:
PART ONE – YID BARMY!:
Once again, there’s been another call by the FA to clamp down on football-focused racism, but a more specific type. Another can of worms has been opened about the term ‘Yiddo’ being used simply because opposition fans have been known to chant anti-Jewish songs at Spurs fans. However, this is ruining it for Spurs’ own fans who adopted the term ‘Yiddo’ to defuse the racist element behind the original insult.
Take a look at the video:
In the advert, there are Chelsea fans featured chanting an anti-Jewish take on ‘Spurs Are on Their Way to Wembley’. They have used the word ‘Yids’ in the lyrics. Let me remind you now that had the word ‘Yids’ been replace with the word ‘Jews’, the snippet would not have been featured and the chant would go on unnoticed as it had done for the last 30 years!
As both a Spurs fan and a descendant of Adam, Eve and everyone’s favourite biblical drunken-Uncle–who takes the command ‘sacrifice’ way too seriously–Abraham [in Lehman’s Terms–A Jew], I feel that I am certainly better-placed to wade in on this than the FA and the Society of Black Lawyers (yes, a slightly divisive name for an organisation who want racial equality yet call themselves something so non-inclusive).
Tottenham Hotspur and the FA waded in to personally help David and Ivor Baddiel – Jewish Chelsea fans [I know, the irony of it] – create that rather hypocritical short advert about what shouldn’t really have been an issue and is aimed at the wrong club. Ledley King and Gary Lineker starred in that advert, two Spurs legends who were (and still are) constantly referred to as the very thing they’re so ‘disgusted’ at in the advert!
Lineker and King never complained about it while they were playing for us and they shouldn’t even complain now. When Spurs fans chant ‘Yiddo’ at their players, it’s meant as a sign of affection for that player and an indication that they are fan favourites there, one of ‘us’. Surely, Lineker and King couldn’t forget that so speedily without a bit of arm-twisting…
What’s even stupider is that this harmless term is considered as offensive as the N-word (which is really just an abbreviation of ‘Negro’ which is the Spanish word for ‘black’) and the P-word (which is really an abbreviation of ‘Pakistani’ that got out of hand). The very assumption that those two words are comparable to the ‘Y-word’ is ridiculous, particularly when the supposedly ‘offended’ group are NOT offended by the term anymore and additionally call themselves that!
I think that whilst there is an unsavoury connotation with the term ‘Yid Army’ being the name for the hooligan fan firm of Tottenham Hotspur, the terms ‘Yid Army’, ‘Yiddo’ or ‘Yids’ are used regularly by Spurs fans to give themselves a nickname which is as harmless as ‘Gooners’ (Arsenal), ‘Luddites’ (Leeds United), ‘Hammers’ (West Ham United‘ or ‘Fans-who-are-getting-annoyed-with-wasting-millions-on-going-nowhere-and-laying-off-good-managers’ (Manchester City).
The club said in their statement:
“A small number of both Jewish and non-Jewish Spurs fans use the Y word in what they consider to be an inoffensive manner…”
Well that would be true if you consider 30,000 in a stadium plus hundreds of thousands worldwide as ‘small’! What a naive assumption. It’s more popular than you think.
“…We look forward to an informed and proper debate with Kick it Out, stakeholders and the key authorities to raise greater awareness….”
Why not consult the actual fanbase as well? Or do the club fear losing the argument? I mean, they recently had the nerve to pursue legal action after the OPLC decided to let West Ham have the stadium which 2/3 of Spurs fans don’t even want. Spurs’ directors’ board would have nothing to lose, now that they’ve further alienated those around them.
“We are committed to eliminating all forms of racism and we shall support efforts to kick anti-Semitism out of the game.”
1) ‘Yiddish’ is a language! A fusion of Hebrew and German still spoken and referenced today.
Are the FA going to make us call it ‘Y-word-ish’ now? What schmerals they are, kvetching about such ein kleyn word.
Sometimes I just want to patsch them in their punims.
2) The term Yiddo was coined by us to defuse the anti-Jewish connotation behind the original insult coming from the likes of Chelsea for example.
What kind of club representative doesn’t know their club’s own history and demographics?
I could do a better job than that! Tottenham Hotspur’s suits need to listen to fans more to gain a more realistic perspective of what the consensus is and how serious something is perceived to be. Otherwise, backlashes occur.
However, naming the hooligan firm ‘The Yid Army’ has thrown a real spanner in the works. That is the only thing I don’t like about the term ‘Yid’. It has been attached to what is an unnecessary and unsavoury part of football–effectively becoming a football-bourne type of extremism.
3) Whoever named the club’s hooligan firm ‘The Yid Army’ is the real idiot/are the real idiots in all this.
(And now time for something slightly different, but somewhat related)…
PART TWO – KICK IT OUT…WHATEVER ‘IT’ IS:
The initiative mentioned above is an offshoot of a policy that the FA have re-ignited time and time again, which is the one about fans’ behaviour. The FA have tried to direct football’s appeal at families with younger children.
It’s the same thing as last time. The timing of the last attempt was suspiciously synchronised with Rooney’s match ban for shouting down a camera lens at some magic pixie who shouted ‘OI, Shrek! Why couldn’t you score like that in South Africa, then!?’
‘Kick [insert blown-out-of-proportion issue here] Out’ is a ploy to try and keep the ‘family-friendly’ atmosphere in football.
It’s obviously an act of bowing to pressure growing pressure from far-left-wing people [who are far-right-wing people in disguise to be honest] to ‘kick racism/swearing/whatever springs to mind next out’ of football.
There’s a lot of imbalance here.
Every club has its moments of distasteful behaviour, some of which is directed at our club’s fans visa-vie the anti-Jewish references. I don’t think it’s as popular now, but for a while, there was a chant from….erm…I don’t know….some Chelsea fans about the gas chambers which went without detection for a while. Even having a Jewish manager didn’t have much effect as Avram Grant allegedly received anti-Jewish death threats after losing the League Cup to Spurs in 2008. And they say it’s not an important cup…?
(I use the term ‘Anti-Jewish’ instead of ‘Anti-Semitic’ as Islam is also a Semitic religion. Anyway, on we go…)
Now I’m not saying for one second that Spurs fans are totally respectful or controlled in their chanting, a shining example being Sol Campbell being labelled as an HIV carrier for the last ten or so years, but there’s still a problem whereby only certain racist chants are highlighted, leaving other club’s fans to sing what they want without responsibility.
As far as I know, Chelsea weren’t drawn into a manhunt after levelling racist abuse, whilst Spurs fans were arrested, questioned and banned from all stadiums over the abuse fired at Sol Campbell way back when Spurs last faced Portsmouth in the Premier League.
So I feel that there should be more done to call out all clubs on this issue and not just pick on certain clubs where it suits the agenda of whoever is running such a campaign. I don’t seem to remember a time when Chelsea’s racist chanting was ever fully addressed, but everyone sure as hell heard about Spurs chanting at Sol Campbell.
I do not condone that. However, I condone double-standards even more fervently.
An update made by Tottenham Hotspur before the second leg of the Champions League against Real Madrid in the 2010/2011 season started off as follows:
“A reminder to all fans that foul, abusive, homophobic or racist language will not be tolerated at White Hart Lane and that Stewards will take action against anyone heard using such language.”
It doesn’t just stop at homophobia and racism. They have gone further to ”ban” something which will unfortunately for the PC brigade remain in football forevermore, and that’s ‘foul language’ (swearing).
Again, I refer you to the Rooney incident at Upton Park. This is a knee-jerk so that the club appear to be clamping down on swearing once again. They’ve had 20 years or more to reduce swearing amongst the terraces, but it hasn’t done anything and never will.
The big problem is that the children of supporters who swear of course carry this on when they go to watch matches, like this kid:
As you can see, the philosophy of keeping football ‘family-friendly’ is well-enforced throughout the world.
Yes it’s Feyenoord, who have been disqualified from the UEFA Cup for bad behaviour in the past, but the middle-finger seems to be a universally-recognised symbol. If the kids swear at football matches, any efforts made to promote a family-friendly atmosphere at all matches are in vain.
Wait, don’t leave yet, Spurs’ official statement about behaviour gets better. By better I mean, there’s even more to chuckle about:
“If you hear anyone within White Hart Lane using this language please report this to the Club by texting the Control Room…For our staff, it is better to monitor the problem as it is happening as we can view the area of concern on CCTV and deal with everything quickly…We do not tolerate discrimination of any sort at the Club, on the pitch or in the stands. If you experience any form of discrimination, help us to eliminate it from football by reporting it.”
I didn’t know the club offered training in lip-reading pixelated CCTV footage in English, French, Dutch, Portuguese AN.
It’s cynical to think that someone would either grass on their own players for foul language/discrimination, let alone fellow fans would have the patience to enter the long-winded text service number (07766 553 225) or have the attention-span of a gnat to email the club about one bad word they heard in the stands during a game which they paid to watch rather than put the censors on for detecting unacceptable language.
Abuse and foul language is a big problem which does of course need containing, but it’s not going to be solved using this witch-hunt approach. Next thing we know, Huddlestone will have the ball around the penalty box, someone will shout ‘SMASH IT’ and a woman will text the Spurs control room about that fan condoning the quote from Andy Gray. Perfect…we’re being asked to snitch on each other.
I’ll tell you now, what’s really ruining football for everyone are the organisations which govern it.”Thou shalt not swear” is not a commandment, but “Thou shalt not give false evidence against thy neighbour” is. Where am I going with this?
Well, some FIFA officials accepted bribes for votes on the hosts of the last few World Cups and Euro tournaments, therefore, they did not select hosts based purely on the strength of their bids, even though they said they were. That’s falseness.
What I am saying is that nobody is going to listen to an organisation who can’t even enforce and set an example of integrity and upkeep of moral guidelines within their own walls.
The FA, the Premier League and others who criticise fans for THEIR actions should look closer to home before playing the role of do-gooder. People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.
Double-standards means double the work to make fans listen to them.Follow @TrfficTottenham