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Y-word Focus Group 1


Following a delay caused by the pandemic, these focus groups took place in August 2020, at a time when discrimination and protest was regularly in the headlines and provided reference points for the discussions.

Participants were asked for their personal view on the use of the Y-word and also asked what they believe should happen in the future and how that could be achieved. A summary of the initial consultation survey was also provided during each focus group.

Comments have been edited for brevity, comprehension and to ensure the anonymity of participants. For context, we have included whether they are Jewish, their gender and their age.

We are immensely grateful to our participants for their time, honesty and engagement on a complex, nuanced and often very personal issue.



Jewish male, aged 24-34.

I’ve been a Spurs fan all my life and I’ve been a Season Ticket Holder for as long as I can remember. I’ve got really mixed feelings about it. I don’t like seeing a word that is associated with antisemitism being used in a positive or negative way. I think it’s really damaging for the Jewish community and it allows people who are using it in a negative way to justify it as well.


I think that there should be a bigger emphasis on punishing and stopping fans… There are now three Premier League teams, where I have suffered racist abuse, which means going to those games has been not a nice experience. So, I don’t like Spurs fans doing it.  I think there should be more done for other fans doing it as well.


I think it’s a wider question as well about how Spurs and football deal with racism. As a Jewish person not liking to hear the Y-word and at the moment I’ve got a four-year-old son, I only take him to women’s games because the chanting there isn’t like that. I will not take him to White Hart Lane because I don’t want him to hear those kind of chants




Jewish male, aged 18-24.

I am a Season Ticket Holder as well, I sit in the South Stand. My view on the Y-word is that I was kind of brought up with it and as a Jewish person. I heard the Y-word from a very young age and that was only in the context of Spurs. I grew up knowing the word as quite a positive term and then as I got older, I started to discover how that particular word came about. The way it was always explained to me by my Jewish family was that it used to be quite an offensive thing for other teams to call us and now we call ourselves that to try and take the sting out of it.


If that’s the case, I guess there are parallels with other such words like the N-word, where you do see certain members of the Black community use that to describe themselves and I’m not sure whether that’s necessarily to take the sting out of it or to reclaim it, but certainly that was the way that the Y-word was explained to me, how I was brought up with it and that’s how I’ve always interpreted that and the way I’ve always used it has always been in a positive way.


The way I see it is that context is everything and if someone’s not using a specific word in a specific way to be offensive then, for example, if I was a young child and I was using that word and I was using that to refer to another Spurs fan or player then I’d kind of be upset if someone got into trouble for that when I think context does matter.




Jewish female, aged 75+.

I’m an 83-year-old Jewess and I’ve been a Spurs supporter for 50 years. The Y*d word or the Y-word as we’re meant to call it was not originally offensive. It’s only offensive if it’s used offensively.


It depends on context. I feel that we have taken ownership at Spurs and I don’t at all mind when we call ourselves the Y-Army. I think it’s rather splendid actually. I do mind it if you’re called an f**king Y or there are lots of different things that begin with f besides the usual one I mean, filthy and all sorts of ones, then that is deeply offensive but it needs the adjective with it. The word itself is just a shortened term of Yiddish and its Jude, a Jew, a German Jew is a Jüdin and the translation is Y*d really or Jew.


I feel that we’re over sensitive about words all together nowadays having lived 83 years there are all sorts of words that we could use which have now been cancelled from the English language.


I feel that it shouldn’t be prohibited by other people from saying. I myself don’t use it at Spurs. There are all sorts of things I don’t do but that doesn’t mean that I feel bad.




Jewish female, aged 55-64.




I’ve been a Spurs supporter all my life, I’m 58. I’m Jewish and I feel strongly that the word is a pejorative word. My parents were both refugees from Germany and Austria in the Second World War and came to England. They would have felt very strongly at description of it as simply Jude which if my parents were alive, possibly the most offensive term they could ever hear. That’s in fact how Hitler classified the Jews as Jews only and they wore big yellow J’s and similar depending on the country that they rounded them up from and how it was spelt with a Y or a J or anything else.


To be known for your religion rather than who you are as a person, I think, is the most demeaning thing in the world, whether it’s your religion or your race. I think it’s the reason we all have names and surnames is because that’s how we should be identified and in the terms of football teams, every other football team is known as the Eagles or the Gunners or the Bees or the Blues or the whatever. There are no other football teams with an association with religious terms. There’s no Muslim side or Christian side or you know whatever, as defined and the only teams where there are problems with religion are the ones who are associated with Catholicism and anti-Catholicism you see in Scotland and that then becomes tribal and religious and a reason to fight.


I would rather stand up for the quality of the football we play and be identified as that rather than have to think of anything that may be racially pejorative or anything that may be upsetting. It upsets me hugely and it also upsets me that we are the Y*ds or we are the Y’s or however you wanted to describe it, because we’re not. If you did want to use it as a religious term for somebody who wanted to use it, it’s perfectly okay to do, then you can’t have other religions identifying with that either.  You’re Christian or you’re Catholic because it’s ridiculous and it makes a mockery of their own religion.


It’s a religious term and you know Spurs could be, I don’t know the Lilywhites or the Spurs, that’s who they are – Come on You Spurs, they sing that an awful lot and I don’t see why they can’t carry on doing that. I think at a time of heightened racism, not just the impact in this country but globally, it needs to be routed and it needs to be routed now and rather than letting it disappear gradually I think it has to have an end put on it and then it may gradually disappear because obviously these things don’t disappear quickly. If people know they’re not allowed to use that word and identify with that word and use a different collective term when supporting their team then the change can be implemented.




Jewish female, aged 25-34.

To me it’s the Y-word, it’s the connotation that matters and when Spurs fan use it, they use it… it’s giving it a new spirit. It’s doing it in a positive way. It’s doing it to support your own Club and I think the problem is the away fans or other teams so I think if it causes other fans to come and try and use it in an offensive way, then that’s what should be dealt with.


The problem is not with Spurs fans using the Y-word. The problem is the response and that I think is what the emphasis needs to be on, rather than yes or no, can you use this word because also practically.. I’m not sure how effective it will be to try and ban the usage of the word. I think it was tried before and it’s created more songs about it so I’m not sure exactly how effective that would be as well.




Jewish male, aged 65-74.

I thought that most Jews would be against using the Y-word. I’m strongly against it. I’ve never done it. I’ve discouraged my children from doing it and interestingly I spoke to my son-in-law about it the other day, who’s also a Spurs supporter. He said to me that he would never chant it but he doesn’t mind if other people do.


The trouble is I do actually mind if other people do, I find it offensive in the same way if they chanted the N-word or they decided to start chanting Muslims or something like that, it would have the same effect on me. I don’t believe a lot of supporters who use the Y-word know actually what it means. I don’t believe that many of them realise that it could cause offence to Jewish people.


The trouble with the whole thing is if we make too big a scene about it… I don’t know how we could possibly consider banning it if we wanted to, but what I would personally like is to see the Club actively discouraging fans from doing it and actually explaining that it will cause offence to some Jewish supporters and then I hope that gradually it would just stop happening. That’s my own personal view having been a Season Ticket Holder for over 50 years.




Jewish man, aged 55-64.

I’m Jewish, I’m quite observant. I pray every day and I’ve got no problem using the word. In fact, I actually use the word when I study. I study In Yiddish and the Rabbis that I study with will regularly be using the word either in short or in full the Yidden and this is what we are and I have no problem because I understand the idea about the context. I have been called dirty Jew, I have not been called dirty Y*d, except outside White Hart Lane by opposing fans. So, in the end, it’s down to the context.




Jewish male, aged 55-64.

I have been going to Spurs since 1967 and am a Season Ticket Holder. I accept the use of the word. I don’t use it myself. In the end that’s my decision, I don’t use it to describe myself. I’m a Spurs fan, I’m not a Y*d.

To me this is all about that history and context. Because I’ve been going since 1967, especially in the early…  and late on in the 1970s I kind of lived through the growth of the word. I’m well aware that it’s been used as a pejorative against Spurs fans for a long time. Its use really came about on a regular basis for opposition fans in the late 1960s / early 1970s and I saw first-hand that process as to how Spurs fans reacted.


As a Jewish young boy going mostly on my own, I felt comfortable. I felt welcomed. I was not rejected by the response from Spurs fans and that’s something that is very important to me. I understand now that there is a history of assimilation and welcome for Jewish people at White Hart Lane that goes way back to the 1900s, 1920s and onwards and that was kind of carried on and that feeling has stayed with me.


It’s a highly contested term, there’s no easy solution. To me, it’s all about use in this situation, where abuse and exclusion have often been used against Jewish people has been removed. It is a positive. It is a symbol of identity and belonging. There are other symbols of identity and belonging but this one is, as I say, about positivity. It’s about identity and it is not used in an abusive way. It’s not used to hurt or wound.




Jewish male, aged 45-54.

I’m a Spurs fan. I go with my brothers and my nephew. We all sit together, we’re obviously a Jewish family. My dad used to go to Spurs, he’s now 83 so it’s in our blood so to speak. My view on the use of the term is it doesn’t offend me. I don’t choose to use it myself. I would admit there have been moments where I have got carried away in a great game and I have ended up singing it but generally I wouldn’t sing it particularly.


I think that there’s a few things that make me feel uncomfortable with its use. One is that I’ve been to, for instance Chelsea v Spurs games and you hear the hissing of the gas and their chants which are deeply offensive and they do it because of our association with the term Y*d.


I think there’s a general point that should any religious connotation or affiliation be in sport in this day and age? I think I totally understand from a fans’ point of view, as a Spurs fan there’s no malice there. It’s the crowd singing together and us being Spurs fans together and those chants are based on that. I totally understand it, but what it introduces is opportunity for away fans to use that connotation of Jews and Spurs in a very unpleasant and derogatory way. I think where we are as a society with all the positive actions this year for instance, I think it would be a massive statement for the Club, who support all these different minority movements and supported Black Lives Matter, as they should do, and the LGBT community very positively, I think it would be a massive statement for the Club to put the same support behind deciding that the term has run its course, that it does not sit in society comfortably.


I think that it would be a very positive statement for us as a Club to decide that it is time to stop using the term




Jewish male, 25-34.

I’ve been a Season Ticket Holder since about the mid-90s. I come from a culturally Jewish family, not a religious one. I wouldn’t say I’ve ever been a victim of antisemitism so having started supporting Spurs in that era, not being so aware of the origins to echo a point made earlier, I only came to know the Y-word when I started going to Spurs, in its positive sense as the badge of honour that Spurs fans were using. It’s something that as I got older knew to have been reclaimed from something that was pejorative and had always been pejorative up until that point. I’ve been going to Spurs with many of the same people, predominantly Jewish. My Jewish godfather, Jewish family members who have always been comfortable with the term.


I think this process is incredibly useful and educational because things do change over time and that’s how the word has evolved. There probably are arguments to say that the word has been reclaimed. There are people that are uncomfortable with it, it’s a real time for putting the microscope on issues involving race and heightened extreme things happening in the news.


It is very different for everyone. I think this is very useful to explore our different experiences and work out what can be done. If people are uncomfortable about it, if the natural conclusion of that is banning it amongst Spurs fans because people are uncomfortable with it, then so be it. I think the final reckoning with it should be amongst Jewish Spurs fans. I don’t think how other clubs and their supporters’ appropriation should necessarily dictate the way forward. I think the word context is so important and it’s a pretty clear distinction that where Spurs fans use it, it’s used positively or at least attempted to be used positively, where if away fans are singing it at matches then clearly it isn’t.




Jewish male, aged 24-34.

I have been called a f**king Y*d. Not in a football ground, outside a football ground, while at university. My grandmother was at Cable Street and there, Mosley’s Blackshirts were chanting, “get the f**king Y*ds.” Yes, it was an original term for Jew, an internal term and yes, it’s still used as an internal term within the Jewish community, but Mosley used it, the National Front used it.


If we were a team who had an association with the Black community, would it be alright for us to be the N-Army? No, of course not. I’m not like the others who say it should be banned, I think we should just be trying to stop our fans using it. We should be an anti-racist Club and not want our fans to use a racist term.




Jewish male, aged 18-24.

I think this might be drawn on more political lines as well, because I think perhaps some people are more politically sensitive to certain words. I was brought up only knowing this word as a positive term for Spurs fans. What I found interesting was when the Oxford Dictionary added the Y-word to its dictionary and added a Spurs fan as a definition. Their response to that was that they reflect the way language is used, they don’t dictate language itself and that for me is what language is all about.


We choose if something is offensive, we choose the meaning of something and how we want to interpret it and if you want to be offended by it then it means you’re interpreting it in a certain way. If you don’t want to be offended by it then you don’t have to be. I think that Spurs fans do claim this word so that they’re not offended by it.


I completely understand why people are offended. I think it’s completely reasonable that people are offended, however if I say to them that I’m chanting it in a way to be anti-racist, then they need to respect that as well, because I was always brought up knowing that the word was reclaimed by Jewish fans and non-Jewish fans alike in order to take the sting out of the word.


I believe in my years as a Spurs fan, fans have really stuck together with Jewish fans like myself in order to take the antisemitic connotations away from that particular term.




Jewish male, aged 45-54.

If we look at what’s happened in the Labour Party over the last couple of years with the antisemitism row, I think what that does show, is how complicated antisemitism is and how difficult it is to determine if someone is being ant-Semitic or anti-Israel. It’s a very complex situation and it’s very emotive.


I think to me it’s a very simple argument about being positive as a Club to something that has a grey area and very different sides. I think for all the people who don’t mind it happening, I think what is far, far more important is the people who do find it offensive. I totally understand the people who don’t mind it, but it’s not really about them, it’s about the people who do find it offensive. I think that’s a very important factor to consider.




Jewish male, aged 24-34.

If 1% of people find it offensive, you shouldn’t do it. It’s not enough to not be racist, you have to be anti-racist. If you’re making someone feel belittled because of their religion, I think that’s a problem. Also, I think the example of black people reclaiming the N-word and homosexual people reclaiming the word Queer are two completely different things. They are reclaiming it themselves.


This is not Jewish people reclaiming the Y-word, this is non-Jewish people using the Y-word in a positive way. There is a difference between that. It is in a positive way, but it’s not the same as the other examples. The survey results show things seen in this group, there’s no one right answer, there’s no one right perspective. I wonder if post-Summer 2020 those results would be different, post-George Floyd, post-Black Lives Matter, the second wave of Black Lives Matter protests, post-Wiley, I wonder if it would be the same kind of results now than when we did the survey earlier in the year.




Jewish female, aged 75+.

I don’t mind the Y-word, I never have minded the Y-word. I think the positives you get out of using it, as sort of taking it over and using it positively are outweighed completely by however small a number it is who find it deeply offensive. Because while it’s great, to claim that we are the Y*ds, it’s a trivial pleasure that we get from it and we don’t need it. I like to do it, but we don’t need it.


We need to protect people who are offended. I think people who are offended are wrong to be offended, I think they’re being oversensitive, but they are offended and you can’t change that. So, I think it’s a balance and if people are going to be offended and find it hurtful, the hurt that they feel, is much greater than the pleasure that we feel in claiming it and saying it’s okay, we’re proud of our heritage, we’re proud of our race and we’re proud of our Club, which is what we’re doing by talking about the Y-Army.


You can’t both use it and not use it, you’ve got to come down on one side or the other. 




Jewish male, aged 65-74.

I’m not sure why everyone’s not offended by the Y-word but obviously people are. Would they be offended if they chanted Jew rather than Y*d, Jew Army or Muslim Army? I go to football matches to enjoy the football and to enjoy the camaraderie and I do find it deeply offensive and most of my friends that go, they wouldn’t dream of chanting the Y*d word and I actually agree with what someone said before that even if it’s a very small percentage of Jewish supporters who do find it offensive, we shouldn’t have to be offended when we go to support our football team.




Jewish female, aged 55-64.

There’s as many Jewish fans at Arsenal as there are at Spurs and that word is not used there, that they’re united in using the word Gooners, which is sufficient. Surely that makes the point without any recourse to having to think of a religion. It’s a pejorative, religious term. Surely we can find a better word and a more inclusive word for all of the fans and all of the team than using that, at a time when it does still offend a lot of people? It doesn’t really matter what percentage of people it offends. If it offends some of the people, then it is offensive and another term that is not offensive and should be the one we use collectively. There are a million songs and a million names, it just doesn’t need to be that.  




Jewish female, aged 25-34.

I do understand people being offended. I can understand that, but I also think we live in a time when everything is oversensitive and I know a lot of people here agree with the point about the 1%... I’m sorry, I don’t agree with that. Everybody can be offended, there are so many things today that you can be offended about and it’s kind of fashionable to be offended by many things.


I’m not saying the Y*d word is not something to be offended by, it is. But in the right context. When Spurs fans use the word, I don’t think it’s right to be offended by it. If somebody is offended, I don’t think it’s enough of a justification to ban the word. I do think banning the word would cause more problems in that sense than not banning the word.


It would have been better for the Club to stand back, let the fans do what they do and see how things develop. But the Club taking an official stand in this has put the Club in kind of a problem because coming out now and saying that after Black Lives Matter and everything, that we’re not going to ban the word, because we’ve done our research and we find the word is not offensive enough… it’s not going to work. It’s going to be very heavily criticised. I think it would have been better to have ignored the situation and let the fans be the fans.


For me, the main problem is the reaction. The thing that the Club needs to put its emphasis on is dealing with away fans abusing the word, because that is the racism, that is the antisemitism. It’s not the Spurs fans using it.


I’ve got a five year old, we go to every game and yes, we chant all the Y-songs. My son chants along, he’s happy about it and everything is fine, when we walk outside the stadium, as long as you’re still walking with the fans, that’s okay, but not when we’re walking In the street, or on the tube. He loves singing Spurs songs, as a family, we sing Spurs songs all the time. I won’t let him use that word away from the stadium and I correct him about it, I tell him this is a word you can sing at the game or at home with us, but you don’t use it outside because people won’t necessarily understand what he means. That is a parents’ responsibility to teach their kids when it’s appropriate to use the word, because it’s the context. When he’s away from the stadium, even if he’s in his Spurs kit, people won’t necessarily understand what he’s doing and it could be offensive and I don’t want that. At the stadium, with all the fans, in a supportive way, I’m not going to say to him, don’t sing it.




Jewish male, 25-34.

I think the main thing now is deciding the course of action and I don’t know where there’s any middle ground. In a football context, it’s pretty clear what the origins and the heritage and the meaning behind it are. I don’t think the parallel examples are so useful because it’s such a unique, complex thing to Tottenham Hotspur Football Club that if you have someone coming with you from America, you have to explain why this stuff goes on.


You either have to stop fans singing it at football, which no one knows what the consequences will be. It could be the stripping away of what’s left of the positive connotations with that word that the Club and its fanbase have caused, to leave behind its positive connotations in society and for away fans to use it in a continual derogatory sense and us feeling that we can’t use it because we know we would 100% be breaking rules by using the terms.


You can’t ban the use of it in society as far as current laws are on using hate speech, where the laws are there. You can’t have a middle ground of you have to stop using it a bit or you need to tone it down a bit. It has to be led by Jewish fans and that’s why I found this process so useful and I found the points made a real learning curve because it is such a personal thing.

Where there are people who are not coming to the ground because of the use of the word, then I think that’s definitely something that should be listened to. The Club’s direction of this, whether they say that the singing should stop, that the use of the Y-word should stop should be led by views that have been raised in this context.  




Jewish male, aged 55-64.

Spurs fans have reclaimed the word. The process of reclamation is not the same as black people with the N-word or gay people with the word Queer. It is still a process of reclamation. The history I think is important. Arsenal fans don’t use the word, because nobody on a consistent basis abused them. Opposition fans, for whatever reason, didn’t abuse them using the Y-word, so they didn’t take it on.


I think also that there’s the elephant in the room, which is how are you going to stop a large proportion of fans singing it? I’m not saying that renders this discussion null and void, but it is something that needs to be taken into consideration. People will still carry on singing it, so any step forward has to take that into consideration.


I’d also like to say, that there is a big difference between what opposition fans do and what we do and we are not responsible for what opposition fans do. The Club is not responsible, we as fans are not responsible. It is not a legitimate argument for opposition fans to say they use the word pejoratively against us because we use it in a completely different context.


If the Club don’t do anything, I wouldn’t be unhappy about that frankly, but what I would say, is that the Club is not responsible for us, or it’s not responsible for me or how I open my mouth. I think the Club wouldn’t do any harm by saying what it thinks. I don’t think we should have another consultation which kicks everything into the long grass. The Club have got bags of information about making a decision about what their view is. It doesn’t have to represent all the fans, they’re not speaking for fans. If the Club want to discourage the use of it, they can say so, they can run education programmes, they can run programmes to say why it’s not used, and their standpoint then is clear.


There are songs that are still repeated today, especially at West Ham and Chelsea about Auschwitz, the gassing that someone has already mentioned, and these perpetuate from the late 1960s, early 1970s. The use of Spurs fans as Y*ds, people can trace that back to the 1960s or back to the 1930s, where it may not have been used as pejoratively then. People will know about the England v Germany game in 1935 when the Nazi flag flew over White Hart Lane and was torn down by an alliance of Spurs fans and highly mobilised unionists who came out to protest against the German presence.




Jewish male, aged 18-24.

I would not want the Club to discourage use of the word because, I’m just going to say it, I consider myself a proud Y*d and when I say that, I’m not some sort of antisemite, in fact I’m very active in combatting antisemitism in my local community. I say that as someone who is a proud Jew and a proud Spurs fan actually and I’m very proud of the Club’s link with the Jewish community. I’m very proud that as a Jew, I’m supported by my non-Jewish fans, which I know I would not benefit from at many other London clubs.


I think it’s a great thing that the younger generation is less offended by it. It’s fantastic that we have successfully taken the sting out of the word. I think it’s great that kids I grew up with did not know that it was offensive and they were only brought up with it in a positive way. I don’t think it would be acceptable to label someone like myself an antisemite just because I proudly use the word in a way that’s actively anti-racist and I use it in a way that means people can’t use it offensively toward me. When they do it, it doesn’t have the same impact.


If the Club were to try and discourage it, I think that would encourage more abusive usage of the word and I think it’s not right for the Club to say that anyone who uses it is automatically an antisemite. I know the Club recognises the nuances involved and I think the Club just has to say, look, some people are offended by it, some people aren’t, these are the facts, but make your own decision, but some Jews will be very proud of their usage of the word and other Jews will actually find it offensive.


I would find it offensive if I was told not to use it because I find it anti-racist. There does need to be a lot of education on this. I grew up in a time when I didn’t know it was racist originally and I think a lot of people might feel like that. If it’s a non-Jewish fan especially, they might not understand the history at all. I think education will play an important part in this. However I don’t think it’s right to make this a black and white issue, I think this is very, very grey and very nuanced. I think people need to be educated on the nuances.




Jewish male, aged 24-34.

I don’t think Spurs should say they’re banning the fans from using the word, I think that would be a mistake. Of the Y*d songs, the ‘Being a Y*d’ song is my least favourite, but I don’t think the Club should ban it, that is the wrong way to go about it.


I think the point made about other clubs teaching their fans about antisemitism is a good one. Chelsea have been doing it for the last two years. Anyone banned from their stadium for racism, including antisemitism, has to go through an education programme.


Spurs shouldn’t ban it, Spurs should say we’re an anti-racist Club, we don’t like our fans being racist, we’re not going to ban you for it, we’re going to teach you about some of the complex history of it, we’re going to teach you why it’s wrong and we’re going to work with other clubs and we’re going to try and teach other fans about it as well. Education is key.


I was 13 when I first heard racism at Spurs, it was on the train from Seven Sisters to White Hart Lane. I was surrounded by a group of Chelsea fans and they were singing ‘Spurs are on their way to Auschwitz, Hitler’s going to gas them again, Sieg Heil, Sieg Heil’. That isn’t the Y-word, that is straight up antisemitism, to a 13 year old boy on his way to Spurs. It’s about education. There’s a way of being against it without banning it, without making it worse, but also showing us it’s not right in the long-term.




Jewish man, aged 55-64.

The problem is with the away fans.


The dictionary has now included the Y-word having a second meaning, having the meaning of being a Tottenham supporter and therefore I think we have moved forward with that and if one needs to be told, what does it mean, one can see that it does have a second meaning. Antisemitism unfortunately exists and even if we didn’t use the Y-word. I feel there is antisemitism, when they say our Chairman is being stingy with his money and I find that very offensive and I feel every time I hear that, I have a pang in my heart, about someone being antisemitic towards him, because we know what that means. Oh, our Jewish Chairman is being stingy and unfortunately, that remains as well. Although, again, other clubs have Jewish chairs, that is not an attack directed against those Chairmen.




Jewish male, aged 45-54.

It’s this idea that a sports team needs to be, or it’s appropriate in this day and age, to be affiliated to a religion. This whole idea of this ownership idea, that Spurs have taken ownership of the term, I think it’s just fans enjoy singing those songs.


I don’t want to use the idea positively, the singing isn’t negative, but I don’t think it’s particularly positive in any shape or form either. It’s a song and it’s part of the Spurs collective, but there are lots of other things and reasons why we support Spurs and most of the fans don’t support Spurs because they see themselves as the Y*d Army, they support Spurs because they live nearby, there’s family history, they love the team, they love the football and they love all the disappointment.


On how you stop it, if you look at the homophobic chanting, I think that is hugely reduced in the last 5-10 years and that’s because of the positive work the Club does and the general sort of opinion in sports, etc. Why do we have to excuse ourselves as Jews and accept this term? I don’t understand that. Why are Jews always having to be accepting of this and accept antisemitism. I’m not saying this is necessarily antisemitism, but we’re always making exceptions for ourselves and accepting things, why do we need to do that?




Jewish male, aged 65-74.

I don’t believe that most non-Jewish fans that chant it have any idea that it has any connotation with Jewish people. Even though I’m strongly against the usage of the word, I also strongly don’t believe that in the society that we live in that we can actually ban it and I think the repercussions with the away fans will be even worse if we tried to do it.


What I would like to see happen, is for the Club to actively discourage it and to explain to the fanbase that it has connotations to Jewish supporters and there are a number of them and I suspect it’s a lot more than 1% do find it offensive and to try and discourage the fans from using it and hopefully over time, it will be used less and there will be other songs that will be chanted that hopefully won’t be as offensive to me and to many other Jewish supporters.




Jewish female, aged 55-64.

It’s simple to find a collective name that all the fans are happy chanting that will give an affiliation with the Club, a football type nickname like all the other clubs have. There’s no other club that has something that’s derived out of a religion, and a religion that’s so pejorative. We are a minority of fans, the Jewish fans and we’re a minority of fans at the other clubs and the other clubs don’t allude to or affiliate with being Jewish, particularly Arsenal and the other North London clubs.


There’s absolutely no need for it, it’s clearly offensive. Religion has always been offensive, racism always rears its head. There is a greater understanding. I don’t agree that people are more offended now, or it’s easier to complain now. It’s always been offensive, it can only hark back to one thing, which is being defined by your religion, rather than who you are, or the identity of the Club or the identity of the team.


More importantly, Tottenham are trying to build a fanbase, not just locally, but throughout the country and certainly across Europe, where fans would have absolutely no understanding. It wouldn’t stop them chanting it, of course it wouldn’t, because fans sing the songs that are sung on the terraces. But if they don’t have any comprehension and they don’t have any understanding, that isn’t enough good grounds to allow it to perpetuate. Not understanding why you’re singing something is even more ridiculous.