Darren Bent's 'disrespectful' reaction to 'White Lives Matter' banner criticised by Dwight McNeil

  • Kobe Tong

Burnley have condemned the ‘fans’ who flew a ‘White Lives Matter’ banner over the Etihad Stadium on Monday night.

Their 5-0 defeat away to Manchester City was overshadowed by the disrespectful poster designed to upstage the Black Lives Matter movement across the world.

The Premier League have shown their solidarity with the BLM cause by swapping out player names for the important message and players across the division have been taking a knee before games.

It is, therefore, pleasing to see that Burnley have reacted so strongly to those associated with their club who paid for the plane and its offensive banner.

The club 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.

Darren Bent’s Twitter reaction

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

Naturally, news of the banner sparked passionate reactions across social media and Darren Bent was one of the first ex-professionals to put his thoughts into a tweet.

The talkSPORT pundit replied to a photo of the banner, saying: “Strange considering Burnley have NO black players in there squad at all.”


McNeil brands the tweet ‘disrespectful’

It’s a comment that didn’t go down well with Burnley’s very own Dwight McNeil who is from a BAME background and attributes much of his success in the game to his father.

McNeil tweeted: “As a player of BAME origin, I find Darren Bent’s comments tonight completely disrespectful, especially to my father, who is black and who has been a huge influence in my life and helped make me the person I am proud to be.” 

Bent then proceeded to condemn the banner with his next tweet, writing: “Disgrace, but the sad thing is are you surprised.”

Ben Mee’s superb post-match interview

Not only did Burnley take swift action to criticise the placard, but so did club captain Ben Mee who gave an impassioned interview to Sky Sports on the pitch shortly after full-time.

“It is not right,” Mee said. “We totally condemn it. These people can learn and be taught what the Black Lives Matter movement is trying to achieve. 


“The players have pulled together and this is what we want, what the majority of fans want – equality in society and in football, everything, be it race, religion, gender, LGBTQ community. 

“The players have pulled together and we want to make a stand against this for all minorities.”

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