American Football

‘White Lives Matter’ banner was to ‘incite racial hatred,’ says Burnley CEO

Then on Monday a more discordant note was struck — a plane flew over the Etihad Stadium during Manchester City's game against Burnley trailing a banner displaying the message: "White Lives Matter Burnley."Burnley condemned the banner, issuing a statement during the match to offer its unreserved apology. After the game, Burnley captain Ben Mee said he was "ashamed and embarrassed."According to the the Mayor of Burnley, Wajid Khan, the people responsible for organizing the "White Lives Matter" banner are "missing the point" of the Black Lives Matter movement.He makes the point that although Burnley "has come so far" after the race riots in 2001, a small minority do not realize that the Black Live Matter movement is "not about a phrase.""It's a movement, an understanding, a realization that over the history that Black people have faced and still continue to face challenges of racism, as we saw through the tragic death of George Floyd," Khan, who admitted he was "very disappointed and embarrassed" when he was told of the banner, told CNN's Phil Black.But not everyone is feeling embarrassment. When CNN traveled to Burnley on Tuesday, one woman interviewed by CNN outside the club's Turf Moor Stadium was trying to stick sheets of paper with the message "White Lives Matter Too" to the outside of the ground. The club's social media pages have also been flooded with criticism to the club's response."This is a moment to seize the opportunity to look at and reflect on all the institutions across the globe," noted Khan, who added that too many are seeing Black Lives Matter as just a phrase."And that is their ignorance," he said. "And I think they are missing the point. And it's about time they need to be educated. Just like we've been educating people around homophobia, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. We've got to look at all the injustices of society and stand up to them and deal with them."Following a police investigation, Chief Superintendent Russ Procter said that "there are no criminal offenses that have been disclosed at this time."READ: As Burnley condemns 'White Lives Matter' banner, social media comments suggest some fans still miss the pointBurnley's English defender Ben Mee said he was "ashamed and embarrassed that a small number of our fans have decided to fly that around the stadium."

'Unacceptable'

In an interview with CNN on Tuesday, Burnley CEO Neil Hart said that the motivation behind the banner was to "incite racial hatred.""Clearly all lives matter: White, Black, wherever you're from. What we are saying, through the campaign, are Black and ethnic minority groups have faced persecution and injustice and inequality for hundreds of years and are still facing that today and that is the reason behind this campaign," said Hart. "We are not saying White lives don't matter."We are standing very firm against any kind of discriminatory behavior. And that's what last night was about. Last night was driven by a group of individuals who are linked to a far-right group and last night's motivation was to incite racial hatred, full stop. And that is unacceptable."Burnley CEO Neil Hart said that the individuals involved with the banner "are known to the club."Burnley has had a close relationship with far-right politics. In 2009, the British National Party won its first seat on an English county council with a victory in Lancashire in the Padiham and Burnley West ward. Khan has fought both British far-right campaigner Tommy Robinson when he "[stood in] the north west of England" and former BNP leader Nicholas Griffin.Khan, who was "born and bred" in Burnley, says that he got into politics to fight against the far right in elections in the town and "expose the ignorance and the politics of hatred and division.""[Racism in Burnley] is not different than anywhere else in any part of the country or the world," the 40-year-old Khan said. "The people that did the banner, they had their way of thinking."But that way of thinking has been defeated consistently and persistently through people out there making a posiRead More – Source

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