Westminster’s Chaplain for Sport has joined calls urging Tottenham Hotspur fans to stop using the word ‘Yid’ during terrace chants.
The calls come after the definition of the word ‘Yid’ in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) has been updated to include ‘a supporter of or player for Tottenham Hotspur Football Club’.
Usage of the term to describe Jewish people can be considered offensive, but some Spurs fans have historically adopted the word in terrace chants.
The club has a sizeable Jewish fan base, who have been targeted with anti-Semitic behaviour.
Mgr Vladimir Felzmann, Westminster Chaplain for Sport, warned that even though some fans may use it affectionately, it can be perceived as an insult or derogatory term and should be dropped from chants.
“If a word is deemed to insult it should be kicked into touch,” Mgr Felzmann told The Catholic Universe.
Organisations working to combat anti-Semitism condemned some Spurs fans’ use of the word, with one saying it was “a badge of shame” for the club, while another pointed out that supporters of the club had brought the racist term back to public attention.
A spokesman for the Antisemitism Policy Trust said: “This Y-word is now and has long been part of the vocabulary of hate.
“It should be a badge of shame for Tottenham that the club is associated with the word. The club should be doing more to prevent its use.
“The OED must make clear that the Y-word is a term of abuse, and perhaps it could have done so more clearly when publishing details of the newly included words.”
A spokesman for the Community Security Trust, a charity working to protect British Jews from anti-Semitism, added: “The OED have introduced several Jewish-related terms, so it is important that those which are anti-Semitic or otherwise offensive are clearly marked as such.
“Ultimately, it is some Spurs fans, not the OED, that have brought this racist term to wider public attention and potential use.”
The Oxford English Dictionary said that the word is labelled as “offensive and derogatory”, with reference to Tottenham Hotspur being “a reflection of the evidence for the word”.
But the word ‘Yid’ is controversial, even among the club’s fanbase, and high-profile Jewish people have raised concerns about its usage.
Comedian and writer David Baddiel has challenged the acceptability of the chanting of the word at football matches.
In 2010, he and his brother Ivor made a short film, The Y-word, that featured footballers saying use of the word was racist and offensive.
This weekend’s Premier League fixtures:
Saturday 22nd February
Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur – 12:30pm
Burnley v AFC Bournemouth – 3:00pm
Crystal Palace v Newcastle United – 3:00pm
Sheffield United v Brighton & Hove Albion – 3:00pm
Southampton v Aston Villa – 3:00pm
Leicester City v Manchester City – 5:30pm
Sunday 23rd February
Manchester United v Watford – 2:00pm
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Norwich City – 2:00pm
Arsenal v Everton – 4:30pm
Monday 24th February
Liverpool v West Ham United – 8:00pm
Picture: Spurs fans – with a banner containing the offensive term. (Martin Rickett/PA).