3 min read
I’m Spartacus

I’m 53 years old and have been supporting and watching Spurs since the late 60’s. I cannot remember the first time I heard use of the term ‘Yid’ either directed at me as a Spurs fan, or sung by Spurs supporters. It was sometime back in the bad old days for football, the 1970s. It was probably the 77-78 season as that was when I started going to just about every game, home and away. Back then I had no idea what that term meant. I don’t even recall when I became aware of the meaning of ‘Yid’ and the historic connotations associated with it.

In the 70s I lived and worked in Winchester and I still work there now. I don’t have any Jewish origins, so I really do not know what it is really like to hear that word, whether used in offensive terms or as a defensive mechanism, is aimed at your face. I’m not Jewish. Actually I’m very fortunate in that I cannot recall ever being subjected to verbal abuse of any kind, apart from the odd remark in jest by mates as I’m about two stone overweight.

Peter Herbert and his Society of Black Lawyers re-ignited the long running debate last week over the use of the term. We are fortunate to live in a society where free speech and expression is widely encouraged. Peter Herbert is well within his rights to express his opinion and concern over the use of the term and to highlight White Hart Lane as the place where it is mostly used. I was extremely pleased when both Spurs, as a club, and the Metropolitan Police issued their statements defending the supporters and the use of the term in the context in which it is used.

Unfortunately, no one has come up with a solution to this problem. Herbert has generally highlighted Spurs fans as the common cause of the issue, when actually they have just fired back at the smoking gun of Arsenal, Chelsea, West Ham and a few others. We, as Spurs fans, have a right to defend ourselves. But do we defend ourselves too much? The argument for using the term as a ‘call to arms’ is less strong when we sing ‘Yid Army’ to Wigan fans, to Southampton fans, to Reading fans. But we do.

I went to St Marys a couple of weeks ago and found myself singing those very words alongside my 22 year old son. This after taking a conscious decision several months ago not to sing those songs following comments on The Fighting Cock forum. But I still sang. I don’t know why, but I know I felt like I belonged. If the root cause of the issue was addressed and supporters of other teams stopped the offensive chanting, would we as Spurs fans stop singing those songs? Somehow, I don’t think so.
[authquote text=”The argument for using the term as a ‘call to arms’ is less strong when we sing ‘Yid Army’ to Wigan fans, to Southampton fans, to Reading fans. But we do.”]

I am fairly active on Twitter, following a large number of Spurs fans. I do feel uncomfortable when I see other Spurs fans that have the term Yid in their username. Maybe because they may interact with the wider Twitter community who don’t necessarily understand why that word is in their username. I also feel uncomfortable when I see users on the forum that have the term Yid in their username. But it doesn’t stop me interacting with any of them, on Twitter or the forum. They are a part of us. Each and every one of us is Spurs.

I’m Spartacus.

[author name=”Fatfish” avatar=”https://twimg0-a.akamaihd.net/profile_images/2555195133/4rkg9w0ypt5dk69vyaot_reasonably_small.jpeg” twitter=”fatfish59″ tag=”Fatfish”]


All views and opinions expressed in this article are the views and opinions of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of The Fighting Cock. We offer a platform for fans to commit their views to text and voice their thoughts. Football is a passionate game and as long as the views stay within the parameters of what is acceptable, we encourage people to write, get involved and share their thoughts on the mighty Tottenham Hotspur.

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The Fighting Cock

Published on 12th November 2012

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5 Responses to I’m Spartacus

  1. Dangerousa 12/11/2012 at 2:00 pm #

    I’m a bit torn myself.

    No one on earth, other than other Spurs fans, will tell me what I can or can’t chant with regards my team.
    However, I am coming across some Spurs fans who don’t like the word being used.
    Somehow we have to give our Jewish fans a way of clearly stating what THEY want to do. It seems to me though even they are split by this. And how can we do it anyway, does the club poll all fans on their thoughts on the word, and ask for their religion as part of the poll. Don’t think the OC brigade would allow the club to do that.

    Anyway, Gooners up next and we need a win AVB.


  2. Tonguestooshort Tofelchwithgod 12/11/2012 at 7:25 pm #

    We are all Spurstacus. There are many levels of meaning for the word Yids: a uniting call to arms for Spurs fans, a mild pejorative for rival fans, and an accompaniment to the hissing of the true racists. We have created a tribal identity affirming our unity, and even though it isn’t quite PC, Yid Army has a much better ring to it than Quasi Semitic Martial Conglomeration ;-)

  3. JAMES 12/11/2012 at 7:39 pm #

    the arguement from the black lawyers group, which is a group of lawyers for black people only who want to set up a black only footballers group for black people only can go and **** right off!!!! i’m a yid and thats that!!!!! i think there groups are racist just as they are but i aint telling them to stop calling themselfs black am i!? no i’m not and if i want to call myself a yid i will!!! as for that jewish bloke who supports chelsea!? (honestly can’t remember his name) saying we should stop cos it’s racist…..? erm did he now ruin the career of jason lee of nottingham forest with his racist attack about his hair??? pot kettle you 2 f******g racist p****s

  4. Guido 12/11/2012 at 8:16 pm #

    And not a “Y” word in sight! It has been working for Ajax (A club with Jewish supporting routes and history) for years why not us?……..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJY99P0lwuQ

  5. Darrenjackson75 13/11/2012 at 8:37 am #

    The Society of Black Lawyers are using this to propelle themselves in the public arena, which has worked for them. What it has also done has lessened the chances of stopping us spurs fans referring to ourselves as Yids. the hardcore Spurs fan will only have a stronger affiliation to the word Yid after the attempt to stop them using the term by a group that has no affiliation to the club or the Jewish community.
    like stopping naughty kids from doing something they shouldn’t really do, the likelihood is they will probably do it more, because the act has been highlighted and more as a show power, to prove they can’t be told what to do.

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