Join Spurs legend Garth Crooks for FREE ‘Y-Word’ debate
Tottenham Hotspur legend Garth Crooks is hosting a FREE debate on the ‘Y-Word’ and the Jewish community’s experience of football at the National Football Museum in Manchester on Tuesday 8 April 2014.
Crooks will be joined by David Conn, Sportswriter for the Guardian, Alex Goldberg, Chair of The FA’s Football and Faith Group, Anthony Clavane, Sportswriter for the Sunday Mirror, and Roisin Wood, Director of Kick It Out, for the debate.
‘The Y-Word – the debate continues’ is being held by Kick It Out, in conjunction with the Manchester Jewish Museum, and will focus on the use of the ‘Y-Word’ and antisemitism in football, before broadening out to look at the integration of the Jewish community across all levels of the game.
Crooks, a Trustee for Kick It Out who starred for clubs including Manchester United and Stoke City during his playing career, said: “I must be honest, I find myself full of ambiguity over the ‘Y-Word’. If Spurs fans have reclaimed the word as a badge of honour that’s fine, but what about all those Jewish people that haven’t? Yet again football thinks it exempt from normal society.
“What I really don’t get is why people need to use these words at all. What’s the point? That’s why I think the debate in Manchester is so important. It’s about time we started to find out why fans are saying these things in the modern era and ask why should football be exempt from any action when they do.”
Conn, who was born in Salford and grew up playing football locally for Maccabi in the amateur Sunday leagues of Manchester, is looking forward to drawing on his own experiences when contributing to the debate.
The current Sports Journalist of the Year, named by the Press Gazette in December 2013, commented: “In the last couple of years, issues of racism in football have come to the fore again and there has been a recognition that there must be a zero-tolerence approach, and a need for offenders to be firmly dealt with by the authorities.
“The Nicolas Anelka ‘quenelle’ case has been a landmark which has demonstrated The Football Association’s commitment, along with Kick It Out and all relevant organisations, in standing up against any form of antisemitism. This debate promises to be a great opportunity, not only to talk about these difficult issues, but also the positive story of Jewish people’s experiences in football, both playing and supporting, over many years.”
The debate, which coincides with the ‘Four Four Jew’ exhibition being displayed at the Manchester Jewish Museum, takes place from 6:15pm–9pm and is FREE to attend.