English Premier League side Burnley have issued a strongly worded statement, after a plane carrying what appeared to be an offensive banner flew over the Etihad Stadium during Monday’s match against Manchester city
A helicopter with a banner inscribed with the words “White Lives Matter Burnley” flew over the stadium before City strolled to a 5-0 win over Burnley.
The helicopter circled over the stadium for few minutes after the game had kicked off.
The EPL had agreed to honour the memory of late George Floyd, a victim of police brutality in the USA, by unanimously joining the “Black Lives Matter” campaign.
The slogan is expected to replace names of players on their jerseys for 12 weeks, while the players also accepted to take a knee before the start of games.
Burnley, alongside its players and staffs have, however, condemned the helicopter stunt and dissociated the club from the perpetrators.
“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,” a statement from the club read.
“We apologise unreservedly to the Premier League, to Manchester City and to all those helping to promote Black Lives Matter.”
On his part, Ben Mee, the club’s captain, said the players were “ashamed” and “embarrassed” by the situation which also impacted their performance.
“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,” he said.
“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. Fans like that don’t deserve to be around football.”
Algeria’s Rhiyad Mahrez and Phil Foden both scored twice, while David Silva completed the scoreline.