Fan behind ‘White Lives Matter Burnley’ sacked from job

The Burnley fan who took responsibility for the "White Lives Matter Burnley" banner displayed from a plane above the Etihad Stadium has been fired from his job, British media reported yesterday.

Jake Hepple, 24, who stated on Facebook that he had been involved in the incident which took place before Burnley's English Premier League match at Manchester City on Monday, was sacked by aerospace manufacturer Paradigm Precision.

The company said in a statement that it "did not condone or tolerate racism in any form".

The banner was a response to the "Black Lives Matter" campaign which has been widely supported by EPL clubs.

The Lancashire Telegraph reported Hepple's girlfriend Megan Rambadt, who worked at Solace Foot Health and Reflexology, was also dismissed after she refused to attend racial sensitivity training.

A Lancashire Police investigation into the incident found that no criminal act had taken place.

The banner has been strongly condemned by Burnley, who have said those involved will be banned for life from their matches.

Since the restart of the season after the Covid-19 stoppage, EPL players have worn "Black Lives Matter" on their shirts in place of their names and taken a symbolic knee before kick-off.

Hepple, 24, told the Daily Mail that there had been an "over-reaction" to the incident. "We were not trying to offend the movement or black people. I believe that it's also important to acknowledge that white lives matter too. That's all we were trying to say," he said.

"I stand by this banner and what it says 100 per cent." - REUTERS