Chelsea football fan jailed for 8 weeks for anti-Semitic tweets targeting rival
A Chelsea fan who posted anti-Semitic and racist tweets aimed at fans of rival London football club Tottenham – including photos of Auschwitz and a man giving a Nazi salute – was jailed for eight weeks on Friday.
The conviction came a day after fans at West Ham, another London-based club, were caught on camera singing anti-Semitic songs against an ultra-Orthodox Jew on a flight to Belgium.
Nathan Blagg, 21, who told police the tweets were “boyfriend jokes,” pleaded guilty to seven counts of sending offensive messages.
District Judge Michael Hamilton told Blagg that only immediate detention would be appropriate punishment for “heinous and extremely offensive” tweets.
âFrankly, the content of these messages was contemptible,â he said. “References to the Holocaust and other matters can in no way be called jokes.”
Prosecutor David Roberts said the tweets about the Tottenham team were more offensive in the context of “a story of association with the Jewish community.”
Tottenham traditionally has a large fan base among London’s Jewish community, and some opposing fans routinely direct anti-Semitic abuse against team supporters.
Some Tottenham fans call themselves the âYid Armyâ in an attempt to appropriate the term and deflect anti-Semitic abuses.
Blagg, described as a longtime Chelsea supporter, posted on Twitter a photo of the train tracks leading to the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz with the message: “The Spurs are on their way to Auschwitz,” the court heard. Westminster Trial Chamber.
Another article featured a fake image of former Health Secretary Matt Hancock holding a microphone saying the same words.
Blagg’s tweets were investigated by the Chelsea security team, who passed them on to police, after being spotted by a West Brom fan.
Maeve Thornton, representing Blagg, said he left Twitter and was “deeply remorseful.”
Chelsea, which is owned by Roman Abramovich, a Russian billionaire – who has acquired Israeli citizenship – has launched several campaigns to fight anti-Semitism among his supporters.
In another case of anti-Semitism by football fans, several West Ham fans were caught on camera singing an anti-Semitic song as an ultra-Orthodox man walked down the aisle of a flight to Belgium .
The club have promised an “indefinite ban” to anyone involved.https: //t.co/enBZoDebu0 pic.twitter.com/DWq8W0EoLs
– Jewish News (@JewishNewsUK) November 5, 2021
West Ham fans were flying to Belgium to watch the squad in a Europa League game against Genk.
The football club condemned the incident and said it would ban all fans involved.
âWest Ham United is appalled by the content of the video circulating on social media and condemns the behavior of the individuals involved. The club is in contact with the airline and the competent authorities to identify individuals, âsaid a statement from the club.
âWe continue to be unequivocal in our position – we have a zero tolerance approach to all forms of discrimination. Any identified person will be denied access to the club for an indefinite period. Equality, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of the football club and we do not welcome anyone who does not share these values. “