British PM David Cameron Enters Tottenham Hotspur Chant Controversy
British PM David Cameron has "weighed into the row over racism in football chants," saying that EPL Tottenham Hotspur fans "who use the word 'yid' should not face prosecution unless it is meant as a term of abuse," according to Fariha Karim of the LONDON TIMES. The FA has issued a statement "warning supporters that fans who use such words could end up facing a banning order or criminal charges." However, asked about the matter, Cameron, "an Aston Villa fan," said, "You have to think of the mens rea [guilty mind]. There’s a difference between Spurs fans self-describing themselves as Yids and someone calling someone a Yid as an insult. You have to be motivated by hate. Hate speech should be prosecuted, but only when it’s motivated by hate” (LONDON TIMES, 9/17).
JEWISH SUPPORT: In London, Peter Dominiczak reported Jewish groups said the term "Yid" is "always offensive and that it encourages anti-Semitism." The Board of Deputies of British Jews has said that "it backs" the FA's stance on the use of the word (TELEGRAPH, 9/17). Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust Chair Darren Alexander said, "There was a degree of defiance on Saturday and that was always going to happen with the way that the FA has gone about this. This is something I have been dealing with for seven years and all of a sudden the FA have gone out on a limb by issuing this statement without proper consultation with the club or the fans" (London DAILY MAIL, 9/17).