Sports

Plane carrying ‘white lives matter’ banner flies above Etihad stadium

Aircraft circled overhead shortly after players took a knee in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement

A plane has been pictured pulling a banner reading “White Lives Matter – Burnley” as it flew over the Etihad Stadium ahead of the club’s match against Manchester City.

The aircraft was seen above the stadium just minutes after all players and match officials took a knee in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. It then continued to circle overhead as the game began, with the sound of its engine audible on Sky Sports’ live broadcast.

Premier League players have been wearing the name of the Black Lives Matter movement on the back of their shirts since the season resumed last Wednesday, as well as a logo on their shirt sleeves.

In a statement, Burnley stressed that it “in no way represents the club” and said that they will now work together with authorities to identify those who are responsible.

“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 statement read. “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 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.

“We apologise unreservedly to the Premier League, to Manchester City and to all those helping to promote Black Lives Matter.”

Burnley’s captain, Ben Mee, recently said: ”The Black Lives Matter is primarily against police brutality but it is a great opportunity for us as players to show that racism doesn’t belong in our game and our society.

“We have had good campaigns and good organisations such as Kick It Out but this purely on behalf of the players and I think it is a really powerful message that we want to send out – we don’t believe racism belongs in our game, which it doesn’t, obviously.

“We have had a couple of incidents over the past few years and as players we are taking a stand. It is a fantastic gesture from the players and a good idea and one we have all jumped on board.

“I know we are all on board with it and we will be looking to do the same as a group and all together.”

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