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November 7, 2012 11:57 am

Complaint Filed Against Tottenham’s Use of “Yid Army” Moniker

avatar by Zach Pontz

White Hart Lane. Photo: Wiki Commons

Many fans of the British Premier League team Tottenham Hotspur might soon have to find themselves a new nickname. Peter Herbert, chairman of the Society of Black Lawyers, lodged a complaint recently against the club  whose supporters have historically referred to themselves as the ‘Yid Army.’ He is requesting a cessation of the nickname as well as any offensive imagery that might go along with it.

The nickname was adopted in the middle of the 20th century when Tottenham was a predominantly Jewish London neighborhood.

According to an article in the UK’s Daily Mail the team has defended its fans’ right to use the term ‘Yid’, saying that they ‘do not use the term to others to cause any offense’.

The nickname has also inspired fans from opposing teams to mock the “Yid Army” with hisses to simulate the sound of gas chambers.

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A Tottenham club statement read: ‘The club does not tolerate any form of racist or abusive chanting.

“Our guiding principle in respect of the “Y-word” is based on the point of law itself – the distinguishing factor is the intent with which it is used i.e. if it is used with the deliberate intention to cause offense.”

The Daily Mail article quoted Herbert as saying, “What we are trying to do is change a culture. What we are saying to Tottenham is: ‘Maybe this was okay 50 years ago – but it isn’t now.’

“Even if it is from Tottenham supporters, it remains casual racism. We understand it is a difficult, and for some an uncomfortable, stance to take, but we feel it is the right stance.”

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