Burnley Fan Behind “White Lives Matter” Banner Sacked From His Job

The man who was responsible for the “white lives matter” banner flown above a football game has been sacked from his job at an engineering firm.

Burnley supporter Jake Hepple, 24, was dismissed from Lancashire-based Paradigm Precision on Wednesday.

According to Sky News sports correspondent Martha Kelner, his girlfriend has also had her employment terminated in relation to posts she made on social media.

Manchester City’s game against Burnley had just got under way on Monday evening when the banner was flown over the ground.

Both teams had taken the knee in support of Black Lives Matter just minutes earlier.

Police investigated the incident after the message was flown over Etihad Stadium, but said no crime was committed.

Following Mr Hepple’s dismissal, a spokesperson for Paradigm Precision said: “We have concluded our investigation into the conduct of one of our employees in relation to an incident at the Burnley vs Manchester City match, as well as other related matters.

“We have concluded that there has been a breach of the company’s various policies and procedures. The individual no longer works for the company.”

The spokesperson added that the firm “does not condone or tolerate racism in any form and is fully committed to diversity and inclusion”.

It is believed the firm Air Ads was the operator of the plane that carried the banner above the stadium.

On Tuesday, Blackpool Airport, where Air Ads is based, said that it was halting all banner-towing activity with immediate effect.

In a statement, the manager of the Blackpool Council-owned airport, Stephen Smith, said: “Blackpool Airport and Blackpool Council are outraged by this incident.

“We stand against racism of any kind and absolutely do not condone the activity. The message was offensive and the action reprehensible.”

Following a police investigation, Chief Superintendent Russ Procter, of Lancashire Police, said: “After assessing all the information available surrounding this incident we have concluded that there are no criminal offences that have been disclosed at this time.

“We will continue to work with our partners at the football club and within the local authority.”