UK Soccer Fan Jailed for Eight Weeks for Offensive Auschwitz Tweet
A UK court has jailed a 21-year-old man to eight weeks in prison after he was convicted of posting a series of viciously antisemitic tweets aimed at English Premier League soccer club Tottenham Hotspur.
The offensive tweets posted by Nathan Blagg — a supporter of Tottenham’s London rivals Chelsea — included one that displayed a photograph of the rail track leading to the Auschwitz concentration camp alongside the message, “Spurs are on their way to Auschwitz.” In English soccer culture, Tottenham is seen as a “Jewish” club, though it has no formal connection to the Jewish community and nothing in the club’s branding suggests any Jewish links.
In another message, Blagg claimed to be “Sieg Heiling around my living room as we speak.” Other messages included photographs and videos of Nazi salutes.
Blagg’s tweets were investigated by the security team at Chelsea, who passed them on to police. Officers from the Metropolitan Police Central Football Unit arrested him in February.
Blagg, a season ticket holder, was subsequently banned from attending Chelsea’s matches.
Sentencing Blagg, District Judge Michael Hamilton said that only immediate custody would be a suitable punishment for the “abhorrent and grossly offensive” tweets.
Addressing Blagg’s statement that his tweets were simply “banter between mates,” Hamilton said: “Quite frankly, the content of these messages was despicable. References to the Holocaust and other matters cannot on any view ever be categorized as ‘banter.'”
Blagg’s defense lawyer, Maeve Thornton, said that her client, who lives at home with his parents, suffered from a “lack of maturity.”
Saying that Blagg was “deeply remorseful,” Thornton added there was a “very low risk of him re-offending in the future.”
Blagg’s conviction came in the same week that police arrested two supporters of West Ham United for chanting an antisemitic song at a Jewish passenger as he boarded a flight from London to Belgium.