White Lives Matter banner mars Man City win, Gerry Thornley on rugby and racism
The Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team
Manchester City made light work of Burnley last night, as Pep Guardiola’s side hit the Clarets for five at the Etihad. Phil Foden opened and closed the scoring on a rare Premier League start, with a Riyad Mahrez brace and a David Silva goal completing a 5-0 win. A bad night for Burnley was made worse by events off the pitch, after a plane flew a banner saying ‘White Lives Matter Burnley’ over the Etihad ahead of kick-off. The Clarets later released an official statement vowing to ban those responsible for life, while afterwards club captain Ben Mee said he was “ashamed and embarrassed” by the incident. There are two more top flight fixtures tonight with Leicester at home to Brighton (kick-off 6pm) before relegation-threatened West Ham travel to play rivals Tottenham (8.15pm).
Meanwhile in his column this morning Gerry Thornley has looked at rugby’s “shameful” history with racism, and the sport’s relationship with apartheid-era South Africa. This comes after Adam Byrne, Linda Djougang and Simon Zebo all spoke powerfully about the Black Lives Matter movement and their experiences of racism in Ireland. He writes: “There’s lots that can be done and one thing is for sure, rugby’s history with South Africa’s apartheid regime gives lie to the notion that sport and politics don’t mix. It also leaves the sport with profound sins for which to atone, here included.”