‘A Jew Won’t Let Him Go for Nothing’: Fury Over Antisemitic Barb Against Jewish Chairman of English Premier League Soccer Club Tottenham Hotspur
Top English soccer club Tottenham Hotspur has declared itself “appalled” after its Jewish chairman was the subject of an antisemitic barb on a live radio show discussing the potential sale of its widely-admired striker, Harry Kane.
Soccer pundits have been occupied for most of the summer discussing whether Kane, who is valued at nearly $200 million, will be sold to another club, with current English Premier League champions Manchester City first in line for his signature.
On Tuesday night, a segment of “The Sports Bar” call-in show on the popular radio station talkSPORT was devoted to the price that Spurs’ chairman Daniel Levy should be demanding for Kane.
But when presenter Jarret Bryan asked one caller what he thought the price should be, he answered, “Levy, he’s a Jew. He’s not going to let him go for nothing, is he?”
In response, Bryan and fellow-presenter Perry Groves immediately moved on, but without referencing the slur, or apologizing for it. It later emerged that the offensive remark was cut off before being transmitted on live radio, though it was heard on the channel’s YouTube feed.
On Wednesday, talkSPORT issued a statement unreservedly apologizing for the slur against Levy.
“We are deeply sorry to Tottenham and, especially, to chairman Daniel Levy, as well as their supporters and the Jewish community for the offense caused by this hateful comment, which should never have been broadcast,” talkSPORT head Lee Clayton said.
Continued Clayton: “The comment was rightly dumped on our radio station, where we broadcast with a slight delay to ensure any unexpected and inappropriate comments don’t make it to air. It was, however, streamed live on the talkSPORT YouTube channel, which we are currently testing and which awaits a similar profanity/offense delay. Our team did not take our YouTube stream into consideration and therefore the comments were not challenged as they should have been for our viewers on YouTube.”
In a separate statement, Spurs said that it noted the apology from talkSPORT, but reiterated that “we were appalled that neither presenter addressed the comment, failing to call out the antisemitic trope. We are under no doubt that if an equivalent comment had been made regarding an individual’s race or other protected characteristic, the response would have been immediate and far-reaching.”
The statement added: “It cannot be acceptable that antisemitism does not receive the same level of condemnation as other forms of discrimination and efforts to tackle it should be no less rigorous.”