Manchester City winger, Raheem Sterling, has reiterated the call for a change against the black ethnic group after a plane carrying a “White Lives Matter” banner was seen above the Etihad on Monday during the club’s clash with Burnley.
The banner also sparked outrage amid ongoing protests and demonstrations against racial inequality.
After the game that City won comfortably 5-0, Sterling took to his Twitter and wrote: #TimeForChange with the picture of the banner.
— Raheem Sterling (@sterling7) June 22, 2020
As part of the campaign against racial inequality, all Premier League players wore “Black Lives Matter” across the back of their shirts, which replaced their names since the return of football after the COVID-19 pandemic. This was to pay the tribute following protests that began in the U.S. over the death of George Floyd.
The protest also resonated across the world as the likes of Weston McKennie, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Thuram, Romelu Lukaku amongst others made displays in the Bundesliga, and the Italian Serie A while Marcelo was headlining those in La Liga.
In addition to a patch of the NHS to commemorate the work of the frontline workers during the pandemic on jerseys, they also had a Black Lives Matter patch on their shirts. Players have also been partaking in a moment of silence before kickoff, while also taking a knee on the opening whistle to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
White Live Matters
Shortly after the kickoff of City’s game on Monday, a plane was spotted overhead carrying a banner that read “White Lives Matter Burnley. According to reports, it happened a few minutes into the match, after the players on the pitch finished kneeling.
What currently remains unclear is who paid for the banner to be displayed. Meanwhile, reactions on social media condemned it in totality.
Many users of social media described the display as pathetic, disgusting, embarrassing, and an absolute disgrace. Fans of Burnley had said whoever put that plane banner in the air has no place at Turf Moor.
Burnley condemns White Lives Matter banner
Reacting to the banner display, Burnley, in a statement, strongly condemns the actions of those responsible for it. While stating those responsible are not welcome at Turf Moor, the club said it also in no way represents what it stands.
The club has also promised to work fully with the authorities to identify those responsible and issue lifetime bans.
“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 apologize unreservedly to the Premier League, to Manchester City, and to all those helping to promote Black Lives Matter.”