Report: Arsenal football fan site draws fire for anti-Semitic messages
English club's fan forum comes under harsh criticism for posting 'Jewish stars' next to names of members who donate the least, permitting anti-Semitic comments on site.
An Arsenal football club fan website has drawn harsh criticism from anti-racism campaigners for using the Star of David to indicate which members have donated the least to the site, Britain's Jewish Chronicle newspaper reported Thursday.
The Arsenal fan forum, “We are the Herd”, has more than 1,000 members, and mandates that each member must donate money if they wish to access certain parts of the site. The site automatically places Jewish stars next to the posts of members who have not given funds to the site, the JC report said.
The site also has allowed numerous blatantly anti-Semitic postings, the report states, including a message from member Binsey, whose name sported a Jewish star for not contributing money to the site. "I'm not a Jew,” Binsey reportedly wrote, adding “that is as deep a slur as I can imagine. ..."
Another Arsenal fan reportedly posted a message saying "the Jews and their accomplices are draining the wealth and expecting the poorer sections of society to repay their thieving."
Danny Lynch, spokesman for the Football Association's “Kick Racism out of Football” told the Chronicle in response that, "Kick It Out is committed to making football a discrimination-free zone, whether that be on the pitch, the stands or where it exists online.”
The report quoted an Arsenal spokesman as saying that although the club does not tell fans which sites they should and should not visit, it would not stand behind racist and anti-Semitic comments made by fans.
"We are the Herd" states the site "isn't for the politically correct, it isn't aimed at children.”