Arsenal forum's 'Jewish star' for those who donate least

By Jessica Elgot, August 18, 2011
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Anti-racism campaigners have condemned an Arsenal fansite which uses stars of David to denote which members have donated the least to the site.

Members of the Arsenal fan forum We Are The Herd, which has more than 1,000 members, must donate in order to access certain areas of the site. Members who have not donated have Magen Davids placed next to their names whenever they post.

The site contains numerous antisemitic postings, including one member "Binesy," who, referring to the star next to his name, wrote: "I'm not a Jew. That is as deep a slur as I can imagine. ..."

Another fan posted: "The Jews and their accomplices are draining the wealth and expecting the poorer sections of society to repay their thieving."

The site describes itself as the "premier alternative Arsenal website."

It boasts: "This site isn't for the politically correct, it isn't aimed at children and it certainly isn't aimed towards the new breed of supporter that seems to have been caught up among the Sky hysteria that has made football fashionable.

"We don't want to express our views on sanitised sites that are administered by those that don't understand terrace culture."

Danny Lynch, spokesman for the Football Association's Kick Racism Out of Football said: ""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.

"Antisemitism and anti-Jewish abuse and intimidation is an issue very much 'front of mind' and appropriate steps will be taken in this instance."

A CST spokesman said: "This kind of casual and pervasive antisemitism is quite disgusting. Arsenal fans, both Jewish and non-Jewish, must intervene to stop this kind of nonsense."

An Arsenal spokesman said that although the club was unwilling to tell fans which sites they should and should not visit, it would not endorse racist and antisemitic comments made by fans.

Football fan Richard Simmons said he was "shocked" when he came across the site.

He said: "I know that this type of thing is out there, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't oppose it. We have to take a strong stand against antisemitism and also highlight it whenever possible.

"You could take the view that this is just stupid and not important: but that is really giving a free pass to something that ought to be condemned by everyone."

No-one from We Are The Herd was available for comment.

Last updated: 12:42pm, August 18 2011