Burnley fan Jake Hepple who flew White Lives Matter banner sacked from job

The football fan behind the ‘White Lives Matter’ banner stunt over the Etihad earlier this week has been sacked from his job.

Jake Hepple, a Burnley supporter, claimed responsibility for the incident, which drew scorn and fury from across the country.

The plane – flying the banner – was spotted over the Etihad Stadium in Manchester as Man City routed Burnley 5-0.

After the game, Clarets captain Ben Mee and manager Sean Dyche both condemned the incident, with Burnley issuing a statement.

But Mr Hepple’s actions caused little – if any – regret, with the fan reportedly writing on Facebook he would apologise “to nobody”.

Now, it has emerged the Burnley supporter, who worked as a welder at Paradigm Precision in Lancashire, has been dismissed for taking responsibility for the stunt.

Hepple told MailOnline: “I’m not racist. I know people are trying to make out to be one but I’m not. I’ve got lots of black and Asian friends and this banner was actually inspired by the Black Lives Movement.

“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 added: “My employer, the club and so many other people have completely overreacted to what’s happened.”

Lancashire Police launched an investigation into the incident and found no crime had been committed by the fan.

But Burnley have banned Mr Hepple from ever entering Turf Moor again – and MPs have lined up to criticise his actions.

Many have spoken out in response, with Mee telling Sky Sports his actions in no way represented the club.


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