Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham review asks fans to 'move on' from Y-word usage

Jude Summerfield
Tottenham fans have a long-running association with the Y-word
Tottenham fans have a long-running association with the Y-word / Marc Atkins/GettyImages
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A review conducted by Tottenham has asked fans to 'move on' from using the Y-word at games.

The club's supporters have used the word and its variants for decades and it has often been used as a self-designation in a non-pejorative sense.

A Spurs statement reads: "We are living in times of heightened awareness of cultural appropriation and sensitivities. It is therefore crucial to the values of our club and our fans that we are even more mindful of the controversial nature of this term.

"We have always recognised that this is a complex issue and the appropriateness of its use should regularly be assessed."

Club consultations with supporters over the Y-word began in 2019 and findings showed that 94% of over 23,000 responses acknowledged its use can be seen as a racist term against Jewish people.

Tottenham add: "We are living in times of heightened awareness of cultural appropriation and sensitivities. It is therefore crucial to the values of our club and our fans that we are even more mindful of the controversial nature of this term.

"We have always recognised that this is a complex issue and the appropriateness of its use should regularly be assessed."

Under the sub-heading 'Moving forward,' the statement continues: "We pride ourselves on being an inclusive and progressive club and are aware of the growing cultural sensitivities globally.

"As a club, we always strive to create a welcoming environment that embraces all our fans so that every one of our supporters can feel included in the matchday experience.

"It is clear the use of this term does not always make this possible, regardless of context and intention, and that there is a growing desire and acknowledgement from supporters that the Y-word should be used less or stop being used altogether.

"We recognise how these members of our fanbase feel and we also believe it is time to move on from associating this term with our club."

They also include a link to their 'WhY Word' hub, which can be viewed here.

Kick It Out's antisemitism ambassador John Mann said: “From the analysis I have done, those who use the Y-word as a Spurs linked identifier on social media are overwhelmingly not Jewish, nor ever advocate any positives about Jewish life.

“There are more people using the y-word identifier who repeat antisemitic tropes, than those who identify as being Jewish.

“I congratulate Tottenham Hotspur on their announcement to address the Y-word and trust that other clubs will play their part in eradicating its use throughout football.”

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