Burnley FC are “ashamed and embarrassed” by a banner reading ‘White Lives Matter Burnley’ that was towed by an aeroplane over Etihad Stadium during Monday’s match against Manchester City.
The aircraft circled over the stadium just after kick-off in City’s 5-0 win. This was after both sets of players had taken a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement moments earlier.
In a post game interview, Burnley’s skipper and defender Ben Mee condemned the action totally.
“Fans like that don’t deserve to be around football , we’re ashamed, we’re embarrassed”.
He further added, “It’s a minority of our supporters – I know I speak for a massive part of our support who distance ourselves from anything like that.
“It definitely had a massive impact on us to see that in the sky.
“We are embarrassed that our name was in it, that they tried to attach it to our club – it doesn’t belong anywhere near our club.”
Burnley in a statement disclaimed the motive behind such act stating that the banner “in no way represents” what the club stands for.
The statement also carried that “Burnley strongly condemns the actions of those responsible for the aircraft and offensive banner”.
“We wish to make it clear that those responsible are not welcome at Turf Moor. We apologise unreservedly to the Premier League, to Manchester City and to all those helping to promote Black Lives Matter”.
“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.
Burnley have said that they will work with the authorities to fish out those responsible for the action and take out adequate disciplinary measures on them.
“We are fully behind the Premier League’s 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.”
Both Burnley and City were wearing shirts with the players’ names replaced with ‘Black Lives Matter’ throughout the game.