Vincent Kompany not judging Burnley by White Lives Matter banner

Vincent Kompany insists “there’s no way I would associate the football club” with the White Lives Matter banner flown by Burnley supporters over the Etihad two years ago.

Project Restart, after a three-month break amid the COVID-19 pandemic, saw the Clarets return to action at Manchester City, but an incident before kick-off dominated the news agenda, with a plane flown over the stadium bearing the ignorant message, just as both sets of players were taking a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Captain Ben Mee was upset and embarassed at full-time, fronting up to the television cameras, saying, unprompted: “I'm ashamed, embarrassed that a small number of our fans have decided to put that around the stadium.

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“We have a group of lads in there who are embarrassed.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JUNE 22: A plane flies over the stadium with a banner reading 'White Lives Matter Burnley' during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Burnley FC at Etihad Stadium on June 22, 2020 in Manchester, England. Football stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venus resulting in all fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

“These people need to come into the 21st century and educate themselves. They completely missed the point and don't represent what we're about. It's a small minority of people.

“It's not right, I totally condemn it. Hopefully these people can be taught on what the Black Lives Matter is trying to achieve. We want equality in society, in football, everything.”

Burnley’s name, the town, the football club, was tainted by the incident, but City legend Kompany – the club’s first black manager – is not judging the club by the actions of a minority that night: “If you start judging an entire organisation and the people and players because a couple of idiots are flying a banner, in the world we are now, choose left, choose right, choose black choose white.

"It’s not black or white, you come in and you work hard together, build something, sometimes you change mentalities in that way.

"I’ve come in to coach a football club, to write a story.

"I always stay by my principles no matter what, there’s no way I would associate the football club with this.”