Kick It Out Release Film Urging Fans to Report Antisemitism
Kick It Out, football’s equality and inclusion organisation, has released an uncompromising short film which highlights the history of antisemitism and encourages people to report antisemitic abuse in football.
In European football, fans spanning from Belgium to England use anti-Semitism in their chants as a unifying song sung by many. These chants oftentimes glorify the Holocaust; associate Jews with money and power all while somehow tying these explicit chants with football and the spirit of the sport. In Belgium for example, fans of the Club Brugge team exclaimed last week in chant, “my mother was SS, and together they burned Jews, because the Jews burn the bests" making a connection between their damaging history and their team pride.
So how and why do these chants scapegoat the Jews in song? This could be blamed simply on the energy of sport, but these chants are repeatedly practiced and sung by many without any hesitation and are unacceptable in every sense. These chants and their outright and abhorrent disrespect towards the Jewish people opens up the potential for anti-Semitic attacks and brings hatred to a sport that is supposed to be international and tolerant. There is no reason for anti-Semitic energy to define the fandom of football teams, bring bad reputations to said football teams and most importantly reintroduce damaging history to torment Jewish people.
These chants should not be normalized and should not be casually accepted, rather we should argue about them and debate their legitimacy. Why should anti-Semitic chants introduce hatred and divisiveness during a completely unrelated football match? This conversation has to be had. It is not only the actions of “drunk fans” that cause so much damage and fear among minority groups, but the normalization of such actions and the deliberate and knowing hatred without consequence breeds more hatred. There is nothing funny about the Holocaust; there is nothing funny about deliberate chants insulting Jews in the name of sport. This conversation must be had, and these antiquated chants and anti-Semitic chants need to be challenged.