A police investigation is currently underway after a banner reading “White Lives Matter Burnley” was flown by an airplane over a stadium at the start of a soccer match in Manchester, England on Monday (June 22).
The plane flew over the stadium at the start of the game between Burnley and Manchester City. It was just after players on both soccer clubs knelt in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“I’m ashamed and embarrassed that a small number of our fans have decided to put that around the stadium,” Burnley’s captain Ben Mee told Sky Sports after the game.
Mee said he “heard some whispers” that something was going to happen at the start of the game. “The club tried to stop it, but I have heard it’s a small number of people who have arranged this. I hope it doesn’t happen again,” he added.
Russ Procter, the Chief Superintendent of the Lancashire police confirmed an investigation has been launched in order to find those responsible.
“We recognize that this banner will have caused offence to many people in Lancashire and beyond and we continue to liaise closely with our partners at both the club and in the local authority,” he said.
Burnley’s manager Sean Dyche described the banner as “unacceptable.”
“You don’t want that attributing to a whole town and its people, or to the club,” he added.
In a statement, Burnley condemned the “offensive banner” and said anyone involved in it will receive lifetime bans from entry into the team’s stadium.
Read the full statement by Burnley here.