Spurs fans have argued for years that they have not been in breach of equality laws when chanting the word Y**.
I for one, refuse to print or say that word, as in my view it is terribly offensive and carries with it serious connotations. The debate on its use is particularly raging at the moment, with football authorities, celebrities and even our Prime Minister having a say. I wonder who advises Mr Cameron, as in my view he is so very wrong with his naive comments. Maybe he should take a look at the following short video, produced by the Baddiel brothers and promoted on one of football’s leading anti-racism groups Kick It Out, which succinctly shows just why y** is an unacceptable word in today’s society. When I contacted Kick It Out’s Danny Lynch about the issue he added “This a complex debate. Educating fans on the history of the Y-word and anti-Semitism more widely is key fostering a continued discourse. Kick It Out are providing a free film and education pack which will help do this.”
The debate was even featured on ITV’s Sunday Morning Live programme (22.9.13). Former professional footballer and Show Racism the Red Card ambassador Paul Mortimer appeared on the programme to condemn those who use the word. He said “just because you use it in a nice way, it does not make it right to use. As far as I am concerned it is the same as the N word and the P word and there is no place in our footballing stadiums for it.” A spurs fan tweeted into the show to say “I am ashamed that our fans continue to try to defend the use of this appalling chant.”
The subject is clearly emotive and many Spurs fans feel very strongly that this is their word – they say they have reclaimed the word, much like rappers used the N word or Gays use word Queer. After the FA released their statement prior to Spurs playing Norwich, Spurs fans responded by singing the word throughout the game and also chanted “We’ll sing what we want” throughout the 2-0 victory.
The time is right for a responsible debate on the subject and ALL football fans must respond. Spurs fans defend the use of the word as opposed to opposition fans, who sing it to them in a derogatory manner. There is an association there which both sets of fans must break, as it is simply a vicious circle. Of course, it would be remiss of me not to mention the appalling songs sung by some Chelsea (and other) fans which make references to Auschwitz and the horrible noises which are supposed to resemble gas chambers. Football fans are known for coming up with some brilliantly witty songs, but the darker side of football terraces-mentality is perfectly illustrated in these shocking songs.
There are many Spurs fans who will agree that the time is right to move on when it comes to the Y** word. For those who do not understand the arguments and maintain that it is part of their identity maybe this theory can be debunked when they see the excellent short film by the Baddiel brothers?
Personally, I agree with anti-racism campaigners who argue that the y** word should be regarded no differently to any other race hate word and as such it should be given the same level of protection as other racially motivated words.
Where do you stand on the debate and if it is outlawed, which is likely, what will your reaction be to this?
DISCLAIMER: The author of this piece originally did not want the word 'Y**' in the title, however due to character limitations in regard to the URL this is not possible to sensor.