Burnley captain Ben Mee admits he was ‘disappointed’ by fans who booed players taking the knee in Brighton defeat as he urges supporters to back the club’s fight against racism
- Burnley hosted Brighton in their first game of the new season on Saturday
- But a small section of fans booed the taking the knee gesture before the game
- Turf Moor was the only Premier League ground to hear boos for the gesture
- Burnley’s Ben Mee wants fans to be more supportive in club’s inclusivity drive
Burnley will reiterate strong messages of inclusion to supporters after a minority jeered players taking the knee on the Premier League’s opening weekend.
A small number of fans made their feelings known ahead of the 2-1 defeat by Brighton before a majority inside Turf Moor drowned them out with applause.
Captain Ben Mee on Thursday expressed disappointment at the booing and urged fans to support the initiative, while the Clarets plan to continue publishing literature on the club’s various platforms to address the issues.
Mee, who spoke candidly after a plane reading ‘White Lives Matter Burnley’ flew overhead as they faced Manchester City last year – had stated in his Brighton programme notes that the gesture is not deemed politically motivated.
The 31-year-old reaffirmed his belief that players are standing up for what is right ahead of Saturday’s trip to Liverpool.
‘I was disappointed to hear the booing,’ the defender said. ‘There was a lot of applause as well after it, which was good to hear.
Burnley’s Ben Mee has expressed his disappointment over fans booing players taking the knee
A small section of supporters jeered the pre-match gesture (seen above on Saturday at Turf Moor) with Mee stating the players are trying to support the fight against racism
‘I don’t know how many times we have to reiterate as players the reasons why we continue to take the knee. It gets to a point where the booing doesn’t look good on the individuals.’
Burnley are actively working in the community and with the local authority to address and educate surrounding societal issues and have recently appointed their first equality, diversity and inclusion officer.
Mee added: ‘Support us in what we’re trying to achieve as a group of players and a football community. We don’t need to keep reiterating why we’re doing it. Support would be more than welcome.
‘We’re doing all we can to help that and support the fight against racism. We want people to feel comfortable every time they enter a football stadium.’
Mee also spoke candidly last year after a plane reading ‘White Lives Matter Burnley’ flew overhead as they faced Manchester City
Sean Dyche insisted the spontaneous applause to silence any booing was an essential step
Turf Moor was the only top-flight ground to experience negativity towards the taking of the knee and Burnley boss Sean Dyche insisted afterwards that the spontaneous applause to silence any booing was an essential step.
‘There was a lot of applause for the same moment,’ Dyche said. ‘That’s important. There was a lot of applause to drown out anybody who felt negatively about it.
‘A lot has been asked of managers and players to come out with their views, but I’m trying to concentrate on getting that team to win. Everything else has got to [be for] society to look at.
‘We’re talking about life here, it’s not football. Football’s taken a lot of power in this, and really it shouldn’t have to. We’re talking about people’s decisions of life. I can’t control everyone’s decisions of life. We hope it’s working in the right way.’