Tottenham address ‘appalling’ antisemitic comment by TalkSport caller

‘We were appalled that neither presenter addressed the comment, failing to call out the antisemitic trope,’ read a club statement

Alex Pattle
Wednesday 04 August 2021 14:45 BST
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in north London
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in north London (AFP via Getty Images)

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Tottenham Hotspur have acknowledged an apology by TalkSport after the radio station broadcasted then failed to address an antisemitic comment from a caller on Tuesday.

A guest made the comment, aimed at Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, after calling in to the station’s Sports Bar programme, hosted by Jordan Jarrett-Bryan and Perry Groves.

A TalkSport statement suggested that the presenters did not address the comment in real time because it was cut from the live radio feed during a very brief delay between the incident and the actual broadcast. Such delays exist on most radio and TV broadcasts in order to prevent incidents of this kind.

The comment remained on the YouTube live stream of the programme, however.

Head of TalkSport Lee Clayton issued an apology on Wednesday, which read: “We are all appalled by the comment that was made by a caller during a live YouTube broadcast of The Sports Bar. There is absolutely no room for discrimination of any kind in society.

“We are deeply sorry to Tottenham and, especially, to chairman Daniel Levy, as well as their supporters and the Jewish community for the offence caused by this hateful comment, which should never have been broadcast.

“The comment was rightly dumped on our radio station, where we broadcast with a slight delay to ensure any unexpected and inappropriate comments don’t make it to air. It was, however, streamed live on the talkSPORT YouTube channel, which we are currently testing and which awaits a similar profanity/offence delay.

“Our team did not take our YouTube stream into consideration and therefore the comments were not challenged as they should have been for our viewers on YouTube.

“It is unacceptable that the comment appeared anywhere and as broadcast partners of the Premier League, we take our position very seriously. We are comprehensively reviewing all of our processes, involving our teams across programming, social media and compliance.

“We have suspended live broadcasting on YouTube until we can be sure we have the same processes and protections in place as we have for our radio broadcasting.”

Tottenham responded to the apology with a statement of their own on Wednesday.

The statement read: “The Club notes TalkSport’s apology following an antisemitic incident on their The Sports Bar programme on Tuesday 3 August.

“We were appalled that neither presenter addressed the comment, failing to call out the antisemitic trope.

“We are under no doubt that if an equivalent comment had been made regarding an individual’s race or other protected characteristic, the response would have been immediate and far-reaching.

“It cannot be acceptable that antisemitism does not receive the same level of condemnation as other forms of discrimination and efforts to tackle it should be no less rigorous.”

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