Is Football Racist?

A TFTT follow up to the BBC Three documentary involving PFA Chairman Clarke Carlisle and his findings about racism in football.

It seems the 2011/2012 season will not be remembered for great football, brilliant individual performances and scintillating football matches, but for English football turning back 30 years and reverting back to racist chants and public racism involving four major English Premier League clubs.

We can’t criticize other countries racist issues before we sort out our own, and the court trial involving Chelsea’s captain John Terry and QPR’s Anton Ferdinand, tarnished the image of football, even though the former England captain was found not guilty.

Police investigate comments made by Rio Ferdinand about Ashley 

It doesn’t help when the media blow the most insignificant incident out of proportion either, with The Sun leading with Rio Ferdinand’s ‘choc ice’ comment towards Ashley Cole as their front page on Monday, which has now led to a police investigation, it’s political correctness gone maaaad. *enter comedian Stewart Lee*

The BBC3 documentary ‘Is Football Racist’ brought to light a lot more racism issues than I had originally thought, especially with my club, Tottenham Hotspur.

PFA Chairman, Clarke Carlisle.

I’ve supported Spurs since a young child, and never fully understood some of the chants that we orchastrated towards rival fans until I was further educated and researched, now some chants are simple to engage,

Oh when the Spurs go marching in, Oh when the Spurs go marching in,I wanna be in that number, Oh when the Spurs go marching in.’ 

Simple to understand, easy to chant. But the BBC documentary brought a lot of things to debate yesterday, why do we Spurs fans chant, ‘YID ARMY’.

“Yids” or “Yiddos” began to be used in the 1980s, mainly by arch-rival Arsenal fans. This was seen as a term of abuse because of the large Jewish population in the Haringey/Stamford Hill area. The Spurs fans made the nickname a badge of honour by calling themselves the “Yids” or “Yiddos”.

I didn’t like how David Baddiel (a Chelsea fan) portrayed Spurs fans yesterday, although Baddiel is Jewish, it seemed that he was placing blame on the non-Jewish Tottenham supporters adopting the ‘Yiddo’ and ‘Yid Army’ chants, when really the blame should be placed on those clubs who chanted anti-Semitic racism towards the North London outfit back in the 70s, when racism and hooliganism was at it’s highest. So instead of taking the abuse from rival fans, Spurs fans adopted it. Some people will disagree with Spurs fans, Jewish or non-Jewish, who adopt this chant, but I can’t see anything changing. I’m not trying to defend the club as it’s a negative chant, but when you hear Chelsea and Arsenal fans chanting,

“The Yids From White Hart Lane,

Spurs are on their way to Auschwitz,

Sieg Heil!

Hitler’s gonna gas ’em again.”

Before placing the blame towards Tottenham fans, maybe fans should take a look at themselves and their own club. Two prime examples; Liverpool and Chelsea.

Liverpool may feel hard done by with the Suarez saga. His 8 game match ban set a precedent for John Terry if the FA get involved, now the court case is settled. Players supported the Uraguayan with t-shirts, whilst Liverpool fans supported the player before, and after. Kenny Dalglish, a Liverpool legend, didn’t handle the situation well, why? Because Luis Suarez is Liverpool’s star striker.

Similar to Suarez, Chelsea got behind their captain, when the allegation of racism towards Anton Ferdinand was presented throughout the media. Even ex-Chelsea, and now Tottenahm Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas got behind the former England captain, I bet AVB is glad John Terry was not guilty of the racism charge that faced him.

John Barnes stated in the documentary that although racism is nowhere near as violent as it was back in the 70s and 80s, but people now are passive racists, we don’t act in a violent way, but we still feel that way. I say ‘we’ in a loose manner. The Liverpool legend accepts that it’s almost impossible to prove that people are passive racists.

Bringing all this to a conclusion, it can be said that the image of English football is in tatters following the last year of chants, racist language and court cases. If football is going to be a pure sport, everyone needs to get behind the Kick It Out campaign, from the hierarchy of clubs, (chairmen, board members), the players right down to the fans, as without the co-ordination between all these three important factors of football, the issue of racism will never be resolved.

Thanks for reading.

Follow us on Twitter @TFTTurnstiles

Follow Matt on Twitter @mattywalsh8

This entry was published on July 17, 2012 at 9:45 pm. It’s filed under Barclays Premier League, England and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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