‘White Lives Matter Burnley’ sign flown over Man City stadium after players took a knee
A plane carrying a banner that read “White Lives Matter Burnley” was flown over the Etihad Stadium.
A plane carrying a banner that read “White Lives Matter Burnley” was flown over the Etihad Stadium during Manchester City‘s Premier League clash with the Clarets. The light aircraft could be overhead on television after the players took a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. The distasteful banner stunt was widely criticised on social media by furious football fans, pundits and journalists.
“F****** hell, what an absolute embarrassment. Absolute disgrace,” wrote The Athletic’s Manchester City Correspondent Sam Lee.
A Twitter user said: “A plane has flown over the Etihad with the message white lives matter Burnley WTF is wrong with this country.”
A football fan commented: “Absolutely disgusting.”
While another wrote: “What an embarrassment to the city.”
Burnley condemned the banner and issued a statement which read: “Burnley Football Club strongly condemns the actions of those responsible for the aircraft and offensive banner that flew over The Etihad Stadium on Monday evening.
“We wish to make it clear that those responsible are not welcome at Turf Moor.
“This, in no way, represents what Burnley Football Club stands for and we will work fully with the authorities to identify those responsible and take appropriate action.
“The club has a proud record of working with all genders, religions and faiths through its award-winning Community scheme, and stands against racism of any kind.
“We are fully behind the Premier Leagues Black Lives Matter initiative and, in line with all other Premier League games undertaken since Project Restart, our players and football staff willingly took the knee at kick-off at Manchester City.
“We apologise unreservedly to the Premier League, to Manchester City and to all those helping to promote Black Lives Matter.”
Premier League players and clubs have been supportive of the Black Lives Matter movement.
All of the matches since the restart have seen players take a knee after the first whistle, player names on shirts have been replaced by the words ‘Black Lives Matter’ while a BLM logo also features on the right sleeve.
It is unknown if any of the players or staff at the Etihad Stadium saw the plane carrying the banner.
City superstar Raheem Sterling, who started the fixture on the bench, has been vocal in his support for Black Lives Matter.
Speaking after all the players and staff took a knee during last Wednesday’s clash against Arsenal, Sterling said: “I see it as a massive step for the Premier League to allow something like that to happen.
“It shows we’re going in the right direction.
“Little by little we’re seeing change and that’s what everyone is hoping for, not just black players, I think the majority of the country and it’s great to see.”
While City boss Pep Guardiola said: “We should send one thousand million messages for black people.
“For centuries, for hundreds of years to do what we do [to] these lovely people.
“Im embarrassed, Im ashamed for what the white people have done [to] the black people.
“Just because you are born with another colour of skin, how can people think you are completely different than others.
“All these gestures are good, they are positive, but you have to do it with facts.
“It cant be solved in a few days, but everything we can do, we can do.
“We have to do a lot of things for the black people that we have not done so far.”