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The Y Word!

It may be acceptable for some to allow players like Wayne Rooney to shout the F word, but it would seem that fans are not allowed to say the Y word...

A new campaign against anti-Semitism in English soccer targets the 'Yiddo' chants sung by and against Tottenham fans and deems it offensive and illegal to call someone by the "Y word" much in the way black and Asian players were racially abused in the past and of course still are in some countries.

Now clearly, references to Auschwitz or Gas Chambers are clearly in terrible taste and not acceptable in any civilized society, even in the "man world" of football abuse, but this obviously goes way above banter, much in the way the N or P words are or were used against Black and Asian players and perhaps it is only right to now target the anti-Semitism aimed at the Jewish population.

Now interestingly from a Spurs perspective, it appears that our own almost affectionate reference to our own Jewish heritage of our club could be deemed illegal and racist, despite the fact we use the wording in a manner which is to my mind almost respectful to the clubs roots and in absolutely no way meant in an abusive way. But is it?

Now I, like the vast majority of Spurs fans, chant, "Yid or Yiddo" and yet I never really give a moment`s thought to this being anything racist or offensive coming from a Tottenham fans mouth, but the fact I have always sung the song with pride and affection, perhaps doesn`t make it right or are we again going too far in the political correctness bandwagon?

Songs about Munich, concentration camps or even distasteful chants against certain players hanging from trees (no names) are obviously crossing the line between fan banter and disgusting abuse, but I wonder how we as Spurs fans feel about the prospect of being branded racist for singing a word that we have always done with respect?

Now things move on in that we no longer have gollywogs on our Robinson`s jam and now use Chalk boards instead of blackboards (though I believe White board is still okay), but is our own club reference on a par with Nigger or Paki, words that are now restricted to the first letter, but that seems okay with me, so am I and the rest of our supporters wrong to say the Y word, if it is done so in a non aggressive way?

For me and as a non Jewish person, I may well be totally missing the point at our own references as Spurs fans, but I am more offended by a fan or player constantly using the F word than the Y, and is it how it is said and by whom, that is the real issue, so I wonder if the Jewish fans amongst us find our own chants offensive or are we as a club rightly or wrongly being bragged into the wider race issue as innocent victims of the abuse from others???

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The journalist

Writer: OxfordSpur Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday April 14 2011

Time: 3:56PM

Your Comments

Not for a second
wentworth is the film about the subject.
This is complete and utter garbage. While I agree that there is absolutely no place for racial, religious, sectarian, sexist or any other kind of abuse anywhere (not just in football) ban Spurs fans from calling themselves "The Yids" is a nonsense. We at one point were the subject of religious abuse form other football fans and the term Yid was then considered derrogatory. However, Spurs fans heroically rose up and claimed the term as their own. Now "Yid" is used as a term of endearment towards fellow fans and players of Tottenham is quite possibly to most positive term used by any group of football fans anywhere. While I agree with the clampdown, not all things must be seen in black and white and terms such as "Yid" need to be looked at on merit and in circumstance. Taking the "Yid" away from Spurs fans would be like telling us we cant play in white anymore or saying that you cant have a big cockeral in the front hall of White Hart Lane. It's part of what the club stands for.
Like the FA BigC?
what a load of cod ****!!! Any word can be offensive if you want it to be!! we are not using the word in a derogatory or racist manner!!! I will never stop using the term YID and will not be accused of being racist when using it!!!
If you aint a LillyWhite you aint rite !!! is that racist ?? LOL
South L/Derry Spurs
Kierzo, therein lies the problem. Where is the line? Who's going to decide where it is? How are we to impart intent, which surely must be the basis of any grievance if there is to be a line that should not be crossed. It all becomes impossible. After hearing and reading the number of people who stated that the Adebayor chant was in good fun and was not remotely racist, I don't believe we are at a point where it can be shades of grey. I wish it weren't the case, but clearly it is. Yes, Spurs fans of Jewish persuasion took ownership of the word. Saying it a lot takes away the sting etc, but it never removes the inherent racism that is behind it. That's the problem with it. You are seen as being what you are called as opposed to being judged for who you are. Referring to Spurs fans with references to the Shoah could not possibly be seen as humourous. At least that's what I would like to believe. Once again, I have been proven wrong. COYS
Peter - You're absolutely right unfortunately. If it so happens that even just one Jewish person was offended by the term "yid" when used by Spurs fans in this context, then I'm afraid we would have no choice but to relinquish the right to say it (providing they werent wearing an Arsenal or West Ham top lol). However, I would be surprised if that were the case.
Big C - Fair play mate & top post. ;-)
I'm only surprised this hasn't come up sooner, and what absolute cack it is isn't it?! Mel feckin' Gibson's got a lot to answer for!!!
Ox, as far as I am aware the club has no Jewish heritage especially since the club was formed by a group of cricketers in 1882 as Hotspur FC and the prefix Tottenham was adopted three years later to avoid confusion with a team called London Hotspur. Of course we do have a large number of jewish supporters, as well as an equally large number of non-jewish supporters both here and around the world. Personally I find the term Yid offensive and of no relevance to Spurs the football club nor would I ever call myself a Yid but rather a Spurs supporter. However, if our own jewish supporters do not object to the chanting and the use of this term who are others to judge?
Kierzo, you know fully well there is an analagous situation in the US. I can assure you, there are many in the affected community that do not accept the "ownership" of the word. The same, I am sure, can be said of the one referring to Spurs and their fans. They are not vocal about it because it only serves to create fighting within the community which gives others outside the community a certain impunity to use the same "offending" term. I would love for the terms to be neutral and to mean nothing. They have deep-rooted meaning and there is too much water that has gone under those bridges. If we all had the noblest of intentions, this would not even be an issue. Many don't, thus it is an issue. Draconian measures are the only ones that can ever hope to succeed. That way, the slippery slope of intent becomes irrelevant. COYS
I'm a white Englishman. Ok, quarter parts Irish/danish but who's counting haha!!! I've known and been subject to racism and genuinely vile hatred. When Sept 11th happened I was on holiday in Gran Canaria with my (then) girlfriend who is/was an Egyptian national. Not only did the behaviour of my fellow Brits (verbal and physical assaults) cause me to cut short our holiday for safety's sake, but our treatment when arriving back in blighty, starting at our arrival at Manchester airport and continuing for at least 6 weeks exposed me to the true ugliness and absolute stupidity which is at the root of racism. Yey never once, not for a single second, have I felt anything but utter pride and elation at being called, and calling myself a loud and proud yid!!!
some of us are actual yids. But it doesn't offend. I'm proud to be a yid yiddo
Until we are asked by our own Jewish supporters to not say the Yiddo word in any way, as offence is taken. Then we can continue as before. Anyway all this polictical correctness has too far, it all started after Tony Blair and his cronies took over at Downing street... while on my soap box... All the millions of pounds the local councils spent on these speed humps in the roads are a waste of money, our council tax should have been a lot less!!!
Block D Spurs
perhaps over the door as you come we could have a disclaimer saying that yiddo is sung with love and not hate, we love you all and if you dont like then ***** off
basil ramjet
Ajax have the same issue as us. Its ridiculous & it sounds like something Hitler would do, ban the use of the word "Yid" as to rid society of their prescence. Spurs have a mild historic Jewish connection and everyone is proud by this. The Term Yid or Yiddo is 100% affectionate and calls to ban the word is MADNESS
Excellent posts Peter, and a vry deep post Lily i feel ur pain man.
big cockeral. You are talking out of your A***. Policemen can ask for what they want, in its proper context. I was one for 25 years and a YID and proud of it.
Kierzo can you say "its Black and White"?
I'm not white and I'm not Jewish, however i respect every single faith and following. But i'll be Damned if someone is gonna stop me from being a Lillywhite!!! If i start shouting out "Jermaine Defoe, heeee's a Yiddo!" that's because the fans are showing unity and comradery and i feel a part of that. Are people going to persecute me for being a Spurs fan? I been a fan for 20 years, so if anyone had a problem with that, i'll happily tell them where to place their gripe 8-)
What a load of tosh. Yid Army, lock me up, no offence to any religion, just want to support my team. COYS!
What I didn't like about the Kick it out video was that the really offensive part of the video was the song about the Holocaust yet Kick it out are focusing on the Y-word. I completely support any anti-racism groups but I feel they've misjudged the target of their campaign here. They shouldn't be focusing on a single word in their video but rather the whole anti-semistic chants about the Holocaust etc. If the Jewish support of our club came out and said they'd like the word to never be used by the club anymore then I suppose it would eventually fade away but would it stop the anti-semistic from other clubs about the Holocaust? No it probably wouldn't.
Me thinks I will have to take exemption to being called a Brit when I am British . If everyone wants us to be bloody PC > Paki is short for Pakistan . Yid is short for Yiddish now they want to shorten it all to a single letter . Is this to make their texting easier ? . Load of Bow Locks . C'mon U Spurs Yeedarmy
Real Beaver Hunter
Peter Cook, late of this parish, would be spinning in his grave at the material he could have wrought from this posting and subsequent responses. Derek and Clive had nothing on this. I consistently questioned the moderators of this site on their acceptance of contributors with the 'yid' moniker. But I suppose when you get an argument from Mr. Oxfordspur that compares the impersonal 'f' word with the undeniably sectarian 'y' word, then you may as well tilt at windmills. Just a thought, but if we had mainly black supporters ( although in reality we have a tiny number of jewish supporters-yet we are a jewish club?) would you all shout '******* army' ? And before I've posted this I will bet the word is automatically censored. And yet yid is perfectly acceptable?
Yid is a positive jewish word though???
Yes I thought so...the word n.i.g.g.e.r. was censored.
Spurs are a Jewish club end of. It was a Jewish lad who introduced me to Spurs when I was a boy. My first girlfriend's dad was Jewish he and her brother were Spurs fans. I don't know how all white van men became Spurs fans though? Or anyone called Dave.
lordjohnny, Jermaine Defoe is a yiddo and a ******. Big problems for him. I'm black by the way so I can say ******.
Yes I have a big **** and a hot blonde (white) wife.
OK Fanman, on the basis that you, presumably a non-jew, can use 'yiddo', you won't have any problem with me, a non-black, using n.i.g.g.e.r? And Defoe is not a 'yiddo' as he went to the same Catholic school as me, and the Hughton brothers, Henry and Chris, although much later.
No, I don't mind just don't go saying it on the streets lol. I'm no Jew, I believe in Jesus man.
Oh and Jermaine Defoe is definately a yiddo. I like to argue by the way.
I would love to hear fans at the start of the Arsenal game shouting literally 'Y-word Army' and 'Y-word, Y-word' plus 'Jermaine Defoe is a Y-word'. Just for laugh 'Now we only have one song, we only have one song'
YIKES !!!!!
It was started in the 70s by le scum fans, who wanted to use it as a derogatory term aimed at us. but we have managed to turn it around in our favour.Now most London clubs are run by jewish owners so it is pointless in them using it as a form of abuse towards us now.
lordjohnny raises a fair point to be fair. But if we adopted the term "Nigs" in the 70s then today we would also embrace it and be proud of that also. In truth it is...meaningless. We should all calm down & just back down from this anti PC drivel. Concentrate on those morons abusing Sol Campbell and the ones that David Baddiel confronted at Chelsea. Alternativley we could ban all racist words entirely banning the likes of 50 Cent using the word n-i-g-g-e-r on twitter or in his songs. You cant have it both ways, 50 Cent uses the term as a term of affection, as do we.
Its a strange 1 this... Im a Christian & many of my Jewish friends who support Spurs all use the words Yid or Yiddo, on the basis they say it & say it with pride is the ONLY reason why I've ever felt comfortable saying it. Now as already mentioned when we all use these words its done with passion, love & pride, yet anytime a rival wants to have a dig they'll say "Oi Yid", or call us a "dirty Yid". I take great offense when its used against me/us in negative manner but I have no problem if some just refers to us as Yids if its done with respect. Its very confusing for many to comprehend I appreciate, BUT if its offensive to the Jewish community no matter what context its used in then OBVIOUSLY we should no longer use it. Once again may I add that it was Jewish supporters who openly used the term that made me feel comfortable using it, & I've yet to find a Jewish Fan who's been offended by the term. I wonder after SO many years of its use WHY is it now being brought up ? I find it VERY hard to believe the Jewish members have been intimidated into using the word(s) as my Jewish Spurs mates just like myself are VERY quick to point out if something is said & we don't agree with it ! We've even been known to raise our voice to make the point clearer ! Lmao ;^P COYS
True Spurs Supporter
i thought we were bad in the states, for christ sake, you guys are supposed to be nuns over there. what the hell is wrong with blackboard?
Miami Spur
nel yid
So can we sing, jermaine defoe he's a jew, jermaine defoe he's a jew!
nel yid
so can we use the word or not?
nel yid
Simply ridiculous. Has anyone actually complained to the FA about this and said they are offended?

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