Raheem Sterling responds to 'White Lives Matter' banner flown over Man City game

Raheem Sterling the hashtag 'TimeForChange' in response to a banner with the words 'White Lives Matter - Burnley' during Manchester City's 5-0 win at home to Burnley on Monday

Posted Tuesday, June 23, 2020 by Dailystar.co.uk

Raheem Sterling has responded on social media to a banner reading 'White Lives Matter Burnley' that was towed by an aeroplane over the Etihad Stadium during Manchester City ’s game with Burnley on Monday night.

The aircraft circled over the stadium just after kick-off in City's 5-0 win, moments after players from both teams and match officials had taken a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The movement for racial equality has gained massive momentum following the death of George Floyd in the United States last month.

Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed black man, died as a white police officer held a knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes, with his death sparking protests around the world.

Sterling, who was sat in the VIP seats with the other City substitutes at the Etihad when the plane flew overhead, has been a massive anti-racism campaigner over the years and has been very vocal in his support for Black Lives Matter.

The England international said it was a "massive step" that players took a knee on the opening night of the Premier League's return last week, and this has been replicated at every game since.

"It shows we're going in the right direction," Sterling told Sky Sports last Wednesday.

"Little by little we're seeing change. It was natural, it was organic. We saw the teams do it in the earlier kick-off and thought it was something we had to do as well."

And after the game on Monday night Sterling took to Instagram to post the hashtag TimeForChange above an image of the plane and its banner.

Raheem Sterling responds to 'White Lives Matter' banner flown over Man City game
A plane flew over the Etihad with a banner reading 'White Lives Matter Burnley' during the game between Manchester City and Burnley

Burnley have also supported the movement and were forced to apologise after being made aware of the incident.

A statement from Burnley 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.

"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 take appropriate action.

"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 apologise unreservedly to the Premier League, to Manchester City and to all those helping to promote Black Lives Matter."

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