Premier League: Burnley condemns “White Lives Matter” banner, but social media comments suggest footbal fans still miss the point

Burnley issued a statement during the match against Manchester City saying those responsible for the theft of the banner would be banned from the club for life, while captain Ben Mee and coach Sean Dyche also spoke out.

However, the club’s social media pages have been inundated with criticism of the club’s response.

“Ben Mee, absolute shameful comments,” read a comment on Burnley’s Facebook page.

“He and Burnley’s press secretary should be gathered this morning in a cardboard box and kick the club out.”

Another Facebook comment said, “So, completely false Burnley, you will pay for it. I hope they will fly over all your remaining games”, while others have said: “Racist scumbags condemning this plane” and “you should be ashamed of being ashamed.” you are idiots. “

A plane flies over Etihad stadium with a banner
READ: Burnley condemns “White Lives Matter” banner flying over Etihad stadium

“We will not honor social media comments with a statement,” a Burnley media spokesperson told CNN.

On Tuesday, Burnley released a detailed statement outlining its policy of making the organization “a club for all” and representing “all parts of our community”.

“The club is taking a zero tolerance stance on discrimination in all its forms at Turf Moor and is increasingly issuing lifetime bans for supporters who incite racism and hatred,” the statement said.

“This sanction will also be imposed on those responsible for Monday’s regrettable incident.”

Later Tuesday in an interview with CNN anchor Phil Black, Burnley CEO Neil Hart said the club had work to do around the “Black Lives Matter” message.

“There is a lack of education around ‘Black Lives Matter’,” said Hart. “If we could educate some of these people and I don’t want to be condescending – if we could educate some of our supporters who would massively help us as a football club.”

“I will refuse to support them”

While much of the anger has erupted on Burnley’s social media channels over the banner, it is not uncommon for club accounts to be inundated with anti-Black Lives Matter comments and interactions.

Since the club started promoting Black Lives Matter content, many on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have condemned the club’s support – some fans even saying they will stop supporting Burnley.

Last week, David Walker was particularly angry with the team’s decision to have the Black Lives Matter message on the back of the players’ shirts.

“Only one thing should appear on this shirt,” he said in a Facebook comment. “This is the badge of the Claret and for the first time in my life, I will refuse to support them on Monday evening,” added Walker, referring to the nickname of Burnley. The team plays in a burgundy and blue uniform.

Not all comments were negative.

One user said “incredibly grateful for the support of the players and the club for common decency”, while another said “extremely proud of Burnley football club and what it represents. A club community for all “.

When negative comments started coming last week – with the return of the Premier League – there were voices on Burnley’s accounts trying to explain the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“Understand the meaning of the movement … The reason this movement exists and MUST exist. It is a reaction to the unfair treatment of black people. Please understand it. Then we can have a conversation”, wrote a user.

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In his post-match interview with Sky Sports, Mee added that he thought it was a “small minority of people” who did not support the Black Lives Matter movement.

Ben Mee chases the ball in Burnley's 5-0 loss to Manchester City.

Lancashire police announced on Tuesday that an investigation was underway on the banner to assess whether “criminal offenses had taken place”.

Premier League clubs have supported the Black Lives Matter movement since the resumption of the league last week.

All the players of the 20 top clubs wore “Black Lives Matter” in place of their name on the back of their jersey, as well as a knee before kick-off.

“We want to clarify that officials are not welcome at Turf Moor,” said Burnley in a statement regarding the “White Lives Matter” banner.

“This in no way represents what Burnley Football Club represents and we will work fully with the authorities to identify those responsible and to impose lifetime bans.

“The club is proud to work with all genders, religions and religions through its award-winning community program, and opposes racism of all kinds.

“We fully support the Premier League’s Black Lives Matter initiative and, in line with all the other Premier League matches undertaken since Project Restart, our players and our football team gladly took the knee to kick off at Manchester City. “

Burnley manager Sean Dyche (right) takes a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Burnley manager Sean Dyche, whose team lost 5-0 in Monday’s game, said the banner was “clearly unacceptable” and former Burnley captain Frank Sinclair expressed “disappointment” to the banner .

“#BlackLivesMatter is for the good of mankind and not just for black lives,” said Sinclair.

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