'White lives matter Burnley' banner was a 'really stupid thing to do', says cabinet minister
Cabinet Secretary Brandon Lewis described the "White Lives Matter Burnley" banner that flew over Etihad Stadium in Manchester on Monday as "really stupid".
During a conversation about LBC, the Northern Irish secretary was asked about the banner that was flown shortly before Burnley's Premier League game against Manchester City.
During the Premier League game, an airplane with a banner that reads "White Lives Matter Burnley" flies over the stadium. (Getty Images)
He added: “Inadequate, poor judgment. I don't know why they did it. "
Burnley made a statement while the game was still playing, stating that anyone considered responsible would be excluded from playing games.
"We want to make it clear that those responsible are not welcome at Turf Moor," it says.
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Captain 'ashamed and embarrassed' by airplane banners
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Mee condemns aircraft protest
Club captain Ben Mee admitted that he was ashamed and embarrassed when he flew over Etihad Stadium: "White Lives Matter Burnley".
1:49 - June 23, 2020
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"This is in no way what the Burnley Football Club stands for, and we will work closely with the authorities to identify those responsible and issue lifelong bans."
Immediately after the game, Clarets captain Ben Mee added: "We as a group of players condemn it, we are ashamed, we are ashamed.
"It definitely had a massive impact on us seeing it in the sky. We were embarrassed, disappointed, upset. We are embarrassed that our name was in it.
Burnley captain Ben Mee. (AFP via Getty Images)
"That they tried to connect it to our club - it doesn't belong near our club. Fans like this don't deserve to deal with football."
The Black Lives Matter movement has seen the Premier League take its own initiatives. The players bent their knees before the games and replaced the names on their jerseys with the words "Black Lives Matter".
Eddie Howe, former Burnley manager and current Bournemouth boss, praised the club and Mee for their response. "I agree with Ben Mee's comments, which I thought they spoke really well after the game, and I'm sure it was a very small minority of Burnley fans who did that."
“The majority of the Burnley followers I met in my time there were fantastic people. On behalf of this club we are against racism and discrimination. "
As a former @BurnleyOfficial captain, I have to show my disappointment when I saw this sign above the stadium in a club that many black players represented. Please understand the message that #BlackLivesMatters serves not only the lives of black people, but the well-being of mankind.
00:36 - June 23, 2020
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Former Burnley defender Frank Sinclair was one of many who criticized the banner. He said the Black Lives Matter movement is “for the good of mankind, not just for the lives of blacks.
A Burnley fan recognized the banner. The fan wrote on his Facebook page: "I would like to take this time to apologize. ABSOLUTELY F ** NOBODY!
"It is now apparently racist to say that white lives matter."
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