Burnley supporter Jake Hepple has claimed ownership of the ‘White Lives Matter Burnley’ banner that flew over the club’s Manchester City defeat on Monday night.
The banner was visible from the back of a plane over the Etihad Stadium in response to the Premier League and its players’ support for the Black Lives Matter Movement.
Since the tragic death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minnesota, there has been a greater awareness of the racism suffered by BAME individuals around the world.
To show solidarity with the movement, player names have been removed from the shirts of all 20 clubs and the first whistle of each game has been greeted by everyone taking a knee.
However, it’s clear that a minority of ‘fans’ have taken umbrage with the recent developments and face lifetime bans from Burnley for taking action with the banner.
Burnley fan claims it was him
The aforementioned Hepple will now be at the heart of any proceeding investigation after taking responsibility for the poster with his activity on Facebook.
According to the Mirror, Hepple wrote alongside a video of the incident: “I’d like to take this time to apologise .. TO ABSOLUTELY F ** NOBODY! It’s now apparently racist to say white lives matter.”
His Facebook account, which had also featured a selfie English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson, has been taken down in the aftermath of the game.
Burnley threatening lifetime bans
Hepple, if indeed responsible, faces serious consequences at the hands of the club he supports, who quickly responded to the incident with a strongly-worded statement.
The club wrote: “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.
“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.
“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 apologise unreservedly to the Premier League, to Manchester City and to all those helping to promote Black Lives Matter.”
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