Frimpong charged by FA over “Yid” tweets
Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong has been charged by the FA with improper conduct after he called a Tottenham supporter “Yid scum” on the social networking site Twitter.
The abuse came after the player himself was subject to some harsh words by the Spurs fan. Frimpong initially tweeted: “If you going church today Pray For me Giving today A Miss”, to which the Tottenham supporter replied: “I prayed you break your arms and legs.”
Frimpong then called the Spurs fan “Yid scum” and this was deemed to have “included a reference to ethnic origin, faith or race.”
The term “Yid” is used to describe someone of Jewish descent and although not originally regarded as offensive, it is now considered controversial because of the way it has been adopted by football fans. The “Yid Army” is the name of a football hooligan firm associated with Tottenham Hotspur and through this association with the club, the Spurs fans often refer to themselves as “Yids” or “Yiddos”.
The word should either be accepted in modern day society or banned and deemed as racist; there should not be one rule for one set of fans and one rule for another. Frimpong was displaying his naivety by using the word in that manner, but it also must be pointed out that many Spurs players used the word “Yid” to describe their own set of supporters last season on the same website.
The same situation occurred in the aftermath of the John Terry case where Rio Ferdinand endorsed a quote from another member of Twitter who called Ashley Cole a “choc-ice.” This term describes someone who is of African-American descent but supposedly acts like a white person. For Rio to be laughing at the most stupid term in the English language and escape punishment is a contradiction to what has just happened to Frimpong.
Footballers are clearly poorly educated in the language that they can and cannot use, and although it would be disappointing to see someone coming into the training ground and advising them, it may be the only way to stop this sort of behaviour in the future.
Frimpong responded to the charge by saying: “Just wanna Say didn’t even no the word is offensive as u hear it all the time but u live and learn from ur mistakes Have a gd afternoon.”
Now once you translate that into normal English, Frimpong is unaware of the offensive term and clearly needs educating; this is the case with Ferdinand also.
Hopefully a programme is introduced where players are taught the rights and wrongs of general behaviour in modern society because if not, then we could be on course for a different player facing a different charge every week. The clubs should be encouraging this kind of programme instead of just dishing out fines – what is a £10,000 fine to a player earning £100,000 a week? More importantly, what will the future hold for these ignorant individuals when they hang up their boots and step into the real world?
Alex Smith, football correspondent