Tottenham defend supporters amid racism allegations

The north London club have released a statement in defence of their fan base, who have been threatened with police action by the Society of Black Lawyers for alleged racist chants
Tottenham have stepped in to defend their fans against the Society of Black Lawyers' threat to report claims of anti-Semitic abuse at White Hart Lane to the police.

Peter Herbert, chair of the Society of Black Lawyers, deems the Spurs supporters' chants of "Yids" to be unacceptable in a 10-point plan put forward to combat racism in football.

Tottenham's fan base, which traditionally comprises of a large Jewish contingent, have used the term in defiance against discrimination, and the club have issued a statement insisting that the term is not used to cause offence.

"Our position on this topic is very clear," a Tottenham statement read.

"The club does not tolerate any form of racist or abusive chanting.

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"Our guiding principle in respect of the 'Y-word' is based on the point of law itself - the distinguishing factor is the intent with which it is used i.e. if it is used with the deliberate intention to cause offence. This has been the basis of prosecutions of fans of other teams to date.

"Our fans adopted the chant as a defence mechanism in order to own the term and thereby deflect anti-Semitic abuse. They do not use the term to others to cause any offence, they use it to chant amongst themselves.

"The club believes that real anti-Semitic abuse such as hissing to simulate the noise of gas chambers is the real evil and the real offence. We believe this is the area that requires a determined and concerted effort from all parties and where we seek greater support to eradicate."