‘It’s time to move on’
Tottenham Hotspur have issued a statement pleading with fans to refrain from using the Y word, explaining that it’s ‘time to move on’.
The term is deeply offensive to many in the Jewish community, but some fans believe they have ‘reclaimed’ the slur from rival fans who used it in a derogatory manner.
In 2020, the club conducted a review into the use of the word, holding focus groups with some of the club’s fanbase.
The review revealed that many fans feel uncomfortable with the word being used at matches, and that even those who were prepared to defend their use of it were open to doing it less if it offended fellow supporters of the club. It was also found that a sizeable group of the club’s younger fans were unaware of its historical context and why it would be considered an anti-Semitic slur.
In a new statement, Tottenham said: “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.
“Tottenham continue to refrain from engaging with any social media handle or bio that contains the Y-word and they do not permit it being printed on shirts in any official retail outlets or used in any official club context.
“The adoption of the Y-word by our supporters from the late 1970s was a positive response to the lack of action taken by others around this issue. An increasing number of our fans now wish to see positive change again with the reduction of its use, something we welcome and shall look to support.
“We acknowledge that any reassessment of the use of this term needs to be a collaborative effort between the club and its fans. We shall be working to further outline the historical context of the term, to explain the offence it can cause and to embrace the times in which we now live to show why it can be considered inappropriate, regardless of context.
“Our supporters’ use of the Y-word should never be cited as an excuse for the real evil that is antisemitism. The adoption of the term was a direct consequence of the lack of action taken in the past on this matter.”