I would say this is an “only in America” thing, but it’s in the U.K., so…well, whatever.
Apparently, the Tottenham Hotspur soccer club’s fans call their team “yids,” and themselves the “Yid Army.” The explanation is something along the lines of the club’s home being in a traditionally Jewish neighborhood and adopting something of a Jewish identity (albeit by means of a word generally considered to be a slur).
You can read more below, or at Slate, where sportswriter Stephan Fatsis (you’ve heard him on NPR before) has an article and a podcast on this.
I don’t exactly have a comment on this, as much as an observation that this is definitely an interesting phenomenon for those of us interested in Jewish identity and community membership. And it’s definitely interesting from a Humanistic Jewish perspective, given our approach to Jewish identity, which is much more organic than other movements’ approaches. Not that I think members of the “Yid Army” clearly fit into the Jewish people as we would define it over here in the Humanistic Jewish world–but it’s one of those extreme cases that shows how difficult black-letter rules can be.
- David Cameron embroiled in race row over Tottenham Hotspur ‘Yid word’ chant (telegraph.co.uk)
- Tottenham Hotspur to consult fans over ‘Yid’ chant (telegraph.co.uk)
- David Cameron joins Tottenham ‘Yid’ row saying fans should not be prosecuted for using word in chants (mirror.co.uk)
- Tottenham legend Jimmy Greaves is proud to be a ‘Yid’ and prepared to be arrested for saying it (dailymail.co.uk)