"Ashamed and Embarrassed," Was there any need for this offensive banner? 
(GettyImages - Shaun Botterill)

The event occurred shortly after kick-off with Burnley unsure of who was involved when a plane flew over the Etihad Stadium revealing a banner that said "White Lives Matter  - Burnley."

The banner came from Blackpool Airport and they have now suspended banner flights from its base after the message that was displayed at Manchester City's ground.

This banner has come shortly after the Black Lives Matter movement that has been going on for the last few weeks in honour of the death of George Floyd.

Players kneeled down in respect of the BLM movement but the banner appearing shortly after diverts the attention away from what the Premier League, Burnley and Man City would have wanted to achieve during this fixture.

  • Why the incident was controversial?

It's hard to recognise why people would have felt the need to portray this message especially at an occasion that supports the BLM movement. 

It does not show understanding of the issues that have been going on in America and the United Kingdom. Clarets captain Ben Mee had an important message to share after the final whistle.

Quoted from Sky Sports, Mee said: "I'm ashamed and embarrassed that a small number of our fans have decided to put that around the stadium.

"These people need to come into the 21st century and educate themselves. It does not represent what we're about, the club's about, the players are about and what the majority of the fans are about.

"I'm really upset that has happened."

The manager Sean Dyche didn't even know what the incident was about until after the game but himself and Burnley condemn the actions of the people responsible for the banner.

Quoted from the Official Burnley Twitter Page, Dyche said:

"Yeah, I heard a plane buzzing around but I didn't know what it was about until directly after the game when one of the players mentioned it on his phone.

"They said gaffer we've got to go out and say something and I said well absolutely. It's unacceptable and you don't want that attributed to the whole town, people or the club.

"The club has put out a statement and I'm sure that says that the incident is unacceptable as well. I can only apologise as the manager of this club."

  • Is it linked to reasons why Lennon may have left Turf Moor?

We can only think of Aaron Lennon when that banner was flown across the Etihad. 

Lennon was born in Chapeltown, Leeds and comes from Irish and Jamaican heritage. I can only imagine what it must feel like to see that banner come from those that you played in front of.

Whoever those Burnley fans are, they would have supported Lennon every time he stepped onto the Turf Moor pitch and it must be disheartening to see certain fans not understanding the BLM movement or what has occurred in the past few weeks.

The former England international is out of contract at Burnley and there are rumours that this is one of the reasons why he does not want to be at Burnley anymore.

The Clarets have lost a valuable player in Lennon and they will lose others if those contract situations aren't dealt with quickly.

  • What needs to be done to improve the image of the club?

The Clarets released a club statement at half-time which would've helped the image of the club a little bit.

Quoted from the Official Burnley Website, the main parts of the statement read:

"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.

"We wish to make it clear that those responsible are not welcome at Turf Moor.

"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."

Plane banners can't be done overnight so this incident has been planned by certain Burnley fans for a while so those responsible need to be found sooner rather than later.

Burnley can only hope that this incident doesn't damage the reputation of the club. Everyone at Burnley Football Club will be doing their hardest to restore the proud support they have for the BLM movements.

VAVEL Logo