Soccer team condemns fans that flew ‘White Lives Matter’ banner during match

Sports
Soccer team condemns fans that flew 'White Lives Matter' banner during match

TOPSHOT – A banner reading ‘White Lives Matter Burnley’ is towed by a plane above the stadium during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Burnley at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on June 22, 2020. (Photo by Shaun Botterill / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by SHAUN BOTTERILL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

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An English soccer club says it will issue a lifetime ban to fans who arranged for a “White Lives Matter” banner to be flown from a plane during the team’s match on Monday.

Burnley FC — a team in England’s top soccer league, the Premier League — condemned the banner in a statement on Monday evening.

“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,” the team said in a statement. “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 issue lifetime bans.”

The plane pulling a banner with the message “White Lives Matter Burnley!” appeared over Etihad Stadium in Manchester shortly after Burnley’s match with Manchester City got underway. USA Today reports that the plane circled the stadium for 30 minutes.

According to the BBC, Burnley players also condemned the interviews in post-match interviews.
“Fans like that don’t deserve to be around football,” Burnley captain Ben Mee said. “We’re ashamed, we’re embarrassed … 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.”

Burnley fell to Manchester City 5-0.

The Premier League resumed play last week following a months-long pause instituted due to the coronavirus pandemic. Since the play has resumed, players have worn the words “Black Lives Matter” in place of their last names on their jerseys and also have worn a sleeve patch in support of the movement. Several players have also taken a knee prior to games in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick and other American athletes who have fought for racial equality.

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