Top London Soccer Team’s Fans Polled on Whether It’s OK to Use The ‘Y-Word’
As the English Premier League prepares to kick off the 2019/20 soccer season this weekend, top North London side Tottenham Hotspur is querying its supporters about whether it is appropriate to identify themselves — as many proudly do — as the Tottenham “Yids.”
The team’s raucous fans, who include a sizable Jewish contingent, can often be heard growling or singing the “Y-word” from the stands, invariably to celebrate a goal or to urge their players on. However, fans of other teams, including London rivals Chelsea and Arsenal, have frequently targeted Tottenham for antisemitic abuse, deploying the “Y-word” in offensive chants that poke fun at the Holocaust.
Supporters are being asked to complete an online survey by Aug. 18 which asks, “Do you think the use of the Y-word by [Tottenham Hotspur] Spurs fans contributes to a lack of clarity on what constitutes antisemitic abuse by fans, even if unintentional?” and, “To what extent do you agree that the use of the Y-word needs to be reassessed?”
The club has previously said that any reassessment of the use of the “Y-word” could “only occur effectively within the context of a total clampdown on unacceptable antisemitism.”
The club’s previous consultation of almost 11,500 fans in Oct. 2013 found that 74 percent of non-Jewish respondents and 73 percent of Jewish respondents were generally in favor of fans being allowed to use the “Y-word,” while 12 percent of non-Jewish respondents and 18 percent of Jewish respondents said they were against allowing fans to continue to use the term.