Baddiel film aims to kick the Y-word out of football

The comedian tells The Independent about his attempt to tackle racism on the terraces

To many fans of Tottenham, the term "Yiddo" is a badge of honour, coined decades ago to mark out the football club's Jewish identity in the face of abuse and prejudice.

To the comedian and broadcaster David Baddiel, it is also a term with a deeply malign undertone, which offers an excuse to the supporters of other teams to launch into anti-Semitism.

Today, Baddiel and his brother Ivor will premiere a film, Y-Word, featuring Chelsea's Frank Lampard and Tottenham's Ledley King, which they hope will persuade the football world that it is not a term to be welcomed.

Since "Yid" and "Yiddo" chants are never heard in the final Match of the Day highlights edit, the Baddiels had to capture video phone footage and gather internet material. The film includes YouTube footage of fans singing: "Spurs are on their way to Auschwitz, Sieg Heil, Hitler's going to gas them again."

Baddiel was watching Chelsea play Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge two seasons ago when the news that Tottenham were losing at home to Hull City flashed on the big screen.

He and his brother, who is a writer, have become uncomfortably familiar during four decades of following Chelsea of "Yiddo" – a word with a complex, 700-year-old etymology which translates as "Jew" and has a self-deprecatory use for some. But what they heard that day took anti-Semitism to another level.

"People started up a triumphalist 'Yiddo' chant," Baddiel told The Independent yesterday. "Then a bloke behind us started singing 'Fuck the Yids.' Then he moved on to 'Fuck the Jews'. My brother, who is slightly harder than me, or maybe just a bit bigger, told him to shut up. The fan told my brother to fuck off. There was no violence, but the threat of it was very present. My brother sat down again. He said 'I think I'm going to cry'."

Chelsea offered to investigate but instead the film idea took root, developed with the Kick it Out organisation fighting against prejudice in football.

"Clubs are keen on one level to take on racism but also keen that their club should not be seen as racist," Baddiel said. Though the film's message is not directed at any one club, Tottenham have had some concern about the reaction of their own fans to a message not to chant the word. Chelsea also initially felt that they were being targeted.

"It is a difficult one, because this word is an historic call to arms, to deflect abuse," said Tottenham executive director Donna Cullen. "We would say the word is better not used."

Frank Lampard, the footballer, said: "For some reason some fans still shout the Y-word. Some might think it's just a bit of a laugh. But racist chanting is against the law. It's against the law to call someone the Y-word on the street."

The Y-Word can be seen at www.kickitout.org from noon today

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Radamel Falcao
footballManchester United agree loan deal for Monaco striker Falcao
Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
News
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor