In contrast to the sentiment expressed by some fans in Paris last week, Chelsea feel that, though some of their fans may be racist, that is definitely not the way they like it. In light of this and this weekend's opponent, the club is threatening to come down hard on any supporters caught being racist.
Tottenham—the Blues' opponent in Sunday's League Cup final—have a long, confusing, and arguably racially insensitive history of their own. Back in the day, Spurs fans were referred to with the antisemitic epithet "Yids," a reference to the club's sizable Jewish fan base. As time has gone on, many non-Jewish Tottenham fans have tried to reappropriate the word as a term of endearment. They even refer to themselves as the "Yid Army."
While the use of "Yid" by Spurs fans has its own fraught history, what is clear is that rivals often use this history in racist ways. Common anti-Tottenham chants often reference Nazis, the Holocaust, and all sorts of antisemitic imagery. It is decidedly not a good look.
And because of this, so fresh off the heels of Paris, Chelsea's higher-ups are trying to nip this in the bud. In a statement on their website, the club gives a short refresher on the history of "Yid" and Spurs while reminding fans that just because Tottenham fans call themselves that doesn't make it okay to use in the other direction. Then they get to the threats and round it back to the events in Paris:
If we receive evidence that supporters have engaged in anti-Semitic or any other form of discriminatory chanting or behaviour, we will take the strongest possible action, including supporting criminal prosecution.
Recent events in Paris have seen Chelsea fans united in their contempt for a mindless few. Chelsea is proud of the diversity within our club and our vision embraces equality regardless of race, gender, sexuality, disability or religion. We all share the common cause of supporting our team.
So please, Chelsea fans, for the sake of everyone involved, just don't be racist this weekend. If you could cut it out all together, that'd be even better, but at least not on Sunday.