London – A Jewish comedian was repeatedly verbally harassed and threatened on Sunday at a bar in the United Kingdom by fans of Britain’s Arsenal soccer team who were chanting an offensive anti-Jewish slur.
Seeing the entire bar join in with the antisemitic chants was “horrendous,” Katie Price, 26, told The Algemeiner.
“Having to run a gauntlet of men shouting ‘go home, Yiddo’ is something I’ll never forget,” she added. “I burst into tears immediately outside.”
The incident is now being investigated by Metropolitan Police Service officers after Price contacted the Community Security Trust, a non-profit that provides counsel and security services to British Jews.
Price went with friends, including fellow comedian Jamie D’Souza, on Sunday to the Arsenal bar The Cally in Islington to watch the soccer team’s game against Tottenham Hotspurs. The comedian and D’Souza were wearing shirts in support of Arsenal and the bar was full of other Arsenal fans.
Then Price, a lifelong Arsenal fan, heard a group of male Arsenal fans at the bar chanting “we hate Tottenham” but ending the chant with the racist slur “yiddo, yiddo, yiddo,” with is an insulting reference to Spurs’ large Jewish fanbase. She at first ignored it but when the chants continued, she approached the group and told them not to include the antisemitic remark in their chants. She told them, “no need to say that last bit.”
At that point, “upon finding out I’m Jewish, a group of much older men started calling me a ‘dirty f__king yid’ and a ‘Tottenham supporting yiddo,’” she recalled in an Instagram post. “They squared up to me, tried to pull my Arsenal shirt off, made repeated threats to beat us both up and repeatedly chanted ‘dirty yids’ at me.”
The racist group of Arsenal fans also told D’Souza to “take his girl out,” Price told The Algemeiner. She said the bar’s manager then asked her and D’Souza to leave his establishment, and as they left they heard people “from the entire pub” chanting “off you go, yiddo.’” She thinks that the manager did nothing to reprimand the racist group of Arsenal fans because “he was scared of them.”
In her Instagram post, Price said she was sharing what happened to her “because I KNOW there will have been hundreds of Arsenal pubs with chants of ‘yiddo’ which weren’t called out.” She urges people to “please, please, call it out when you hear it. It’s a hate crime.”
She also hopes that Arsenal’s leadership will take action regarding the incident. She told The Algemeiner, “I think a cultural change is really needed. I think I’d like to see a statement from the club and a zero tolerance policy. One strike and you’re out.”
Speaking to Britain’s Jewish News, The Cally’s manager denied that Price was asked to leave the bar and said his staff’s main concern during the confrontation was preventing any violence from ensuing. He added that he did not hear any of the threats made by the group of men to Price on Sunday.