Fans of the British football club Tottenham have come under intense media scrutiny for holding up banners declaring themselves the Yid Army.

Tottenham rallied around their supporters, after Society of Black Lawyers chairman Peter Herbert urged police to prosecute those who hold aloft banners bearing the name ‘Yid Army’ and chant it during games.

Club bosses welcomed the police response that there was ‘no deliberate intent to cause offence’ and that it  was more a form of self-parody by a  predominantly Jewish support.

Yid stems from the word Yiddish which is a language developed in central Europe 1,000 or more years ago by Jews. The derivative “Yid” however is historically a pejorative word and has links to Nazi Germany. Jewish comedian David Baddiel believes that Tottenham fans should not use the name to describe themselves, and that the idea that Tottenham fans are predominantly Jewish is a farce.

The idea that Spurs fans are reclaiming the Y-word and are entitled to because so many of them are Jewish is simply not true,’ he said. ‘There are only 250,000 Jews in Britain as a whole and I’d say about three or four per cent of Tottenham’s crowd is Jewish.

‘That means well over 90 per cent of those chanting “Yid Army” are not  actually Jewish and that is just one of several reasons why it cannot be right. If, for instance, there was a team in Brixton called Brixton United, and they had a mainly white support who adopted the N-word as their badge of honour and went round chanting “N***** Army”, they would be closed down tomorrow.

Quotes via The Daily Mail