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November 9, 2012 12:55 pm

Tottenham “Yid Army” Row Heats Up

avatar by Zach Pontz

A "Yid Army" t-shirt. Photo: Screenshot.

As The Algemeiner reported on Wednesday a row has erupted between members of London’s Jewish community, The Premier League soccer team Tottenham Hotspur, and a contingent of their fans known as the “Yid Army.”

Peter Herbert, chairman of the Society of Black Lawyers, made a complaint with the club against use of the moniker, and threatened legal action saying, “Maybe this was okay 50 years ago – but it isn’t now.” The nickname is derived from the fact that the neighborhood of Tottenham once boasted a large Jewish population.

The UK’s Daily Mail quoted Herbert as saying that “We are not going to let go on this… After November 20 there is a potential that people will get a criminal conviction. If they want to run that risk then fine.”

The club issued a statement, saying in part that “This has been the basis of prosecutions of fans of other teams to date. Our fans adopted the chant as a defense mechanism in order to own the term and thereby deflect anti-Semitic abuse. They do not use the term to others to cause any offense, they use it as a chant among themselves.”

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David Baddiel, a well known British comedian, who is also Jewish, told the Daily Mail that “The idea that Spurs fans are reclaiming the Y-word and are entitled to because so many of them are Jewish is simply not true…There are only 250,000 Jews in Britain as a whole and I’d say about three or four per cent of Tottenham’s crowd is Jewish.”

The Daily Mail notes in the article that websites dedicated to the “Yid Army” offer a range of shirts with the term emblazoned across the chest as well as hats and other apparel, and suggested that a shirt protest might be in the offing for fans of the club.

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