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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur news and links for Wednesday, March 31

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call it what it is

Tottenham Hotspur Women v Arsenal Women - Barclays FA Women’s Super League Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Hi, everyone!

Today at the top is defender Esther Morgan, who made her senior debut in February.

Ramble of the Day

There’s a fairly quick read at 7500 to Holte, SB Nation’s Aston Villa-centric website, worth checking out. It focuses on two things: an Aston Villa post wishing those who celebrate a happy Passover, and the Birmingham Mail’s coverage of reactions to the post. You may have predicted it at this point, but the post received anti-Semitic reactions — it had more than 27,000 “angry face” reactions.

A headline from the Birmingham Mail called the reactions “controversial,” which is hardly the right use of that word. I’ll let 7500’s Kirsten Schlewitz explain it, though:

The Mail, skimmed most days by most Villa fans, also has a duty to its readers. By crafting a different headline, calling out the intolerance inherent in these reactions, it has the opportunity to remind Villa fans that their compatriots in claret and blue all have every right to take their place in the circle of supporters that surrounds the world.

Call it as you see it, Birmingham Mail. Make it known that Villa fandom is for everyone. Angry reactions to a holiday post celebrating a different religion are intolerant, not controversial. Full stop.

This is one of those things that’s part of the discourse when it comes to the way media covers discrimination. (Unrelated to this topic, but I’ll recommend a Twitter thread from journalist Jessica Luther related to coverage of Houston Texans’ Deshaun Watson, who was accused of sexual misconduct.) It really is not a societal standard yet to be deeply informed on issues of discrimination, regardless of profession; if we’re talking journalism specifically, it means a lot of people who need to play catch up end up having to cover these stories. The issue is not that these people cannot eventually catch up to the reporting standards — Luther mentions how she put in the effort to learn how to cover stories of sexual misconduct. The issue is that they do the work before obtaining the knowledge necessary to the work.

In the case of the Birmingham Mail, labelling a clear instance of anti-Semitism with the blanket term “controversial” that could mean literally anything, it obviously exposes the people responsible for that headline. It also, though, obscures the act of discrimination. That remains a critical issue in eradicating discrimination — if we continue to act like clear instances of discrimination are in a gray area, as if they are up for debate, then we make it pretty difficult for people to identify it.

The good news is that are mistakes that can be corrected. I can only hope the Birmingham Mail knows that, too, and will act accordingly.

Links of the Day

Four Lyon women players and four Poland men players tested positive for COVID-19.

Sevilla’s Estadio Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán will host both legs of Chelsea-Porto.

UEFA will decide on changes to the Champions League format next month.

Rebecca Welch will become the first woman to referee an EFL match when she works Harrogate Town-Port Vale next week.

Robert Lewandowski will miss a month with a knee injury, ruling him out of Bayern’s Champions League tie against PSG.

Real Madrid is building a casino inside the Santiago Bernabéu.

A longer read: Nyasha Chingono on professional footballers in Zimbabwe, who have been playing unofficial matches to make ends meet as COVID-19 has forced a year-long play stoppage for The Guardian