Fury over antisemitic TalkSport caller’s ‘Jew’ slur

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Fury over antisemitic TalkSport caller’s ‘Jew’ slur

Radio station apologises after vile remark about Spurs chairman Daniel Levy goes unchallenged by presenters

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Jewish organisations have reacted furiously after a caller to TalkSport made an openly antisemitic remark about Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy – which then went unchallenged by two presenters.

In a discussion about Harry Kane’s future at the north London club a caller to the radio station said of Levy: “He’s a Jew, he’s not going to let him go for nothing, is he?”

The comment, made on Monday evening’s edition of The Sports Bar, was not challenged by hosts Jordan Jarrett Bryan or former Arsenal player Perry Groves after it was made at 10.29 pm.

Both presenters looked surprised by the comment — but failed to say anything in response.

Tottenham Hotspur said it was “appalled”.

The club said in a statement: “We are under no doubt that if an equivalent comment had been made regarding an individual’s race or other protected characteristic, the response would have been immediate and far-reaching.

“It cannot be acceptable that antisemitism does not receive the same level of condemnation as other forms of discrimination and efforts to tackle it should be no less rigorous.”

TalkSport apologised, saying the remark did not air on the radio but was mistakenly broadcast on YouTube.

Board of Deputies vice president Amanda Bowman reacted to the “extremely disturbing” footage of TalkSport presenters failing to call out antisemitism live on air.

She said: “It is extremely disturbing to see this footage , particularly as both presenters have been vocal about the need to confront racism. We hope that TalkSport will give these presenters the opportunity to address this live on air, making clear that they should have confronted such blatant anti-Jewish racism and pledging to do better in future.”

Andrew Percy MP, co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Antisemitism confirmed he had written to the station’s head Lee Clayton to ask what action they were taking.

The MP said the incident was “no doubt” a breach of the Ofcom code – and confirmed he had lodged a complaint with the regulator.

Percy called for the station to take action against the presenters and issue an apology.

The CST’s Dave Rich said: “The lack of condemnation and apology both from the presenters and from TalkSport since is much, much worse and more damaging than the original racist comment.”

On Wednesday, it emerged that the offending footage had been put up on the station’s You Tube channel, but was not aired on Monday’s radio broadcast.

In a statement TalkSport station head Lee Clayton said his team was “all appalled by the comment that was made by a caller during a live YouTube broadcast of The Sports Bar. There is absolutely no room for discrimination of any kind in society.

“We are deeply sorry to Tottenham and, especially, to chairman Daniel Levy, as well as their supporters and the Jewish community for the offence caused by this hateful comment, which should never have been broadcast.

“The comment was rightly dumped on our radio station, where we broadcast with a slight delay to ensure any unexpected and inappropriate comments don’t make it to air.

“It was, however, streamed live on the talkSPORT YouTube channel, which we are currently testing and which awaits a similar profanity/offence delay.

“Our team did not take our YouTube stream into consideration and therefore the comments were not challenged as they should have been for our viewers on YouTube.

Clayton said TalkSport had suspended streaming on YouTube until a system for delayed broadcasts could be put in place.

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