Troy Deeney on 'White Lives Matter' banner: It made me chuckle at the stupidity
Deeney is part of #PlayersTogether, who are raffling their BLM shirts on eBay UK for the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust
By Lyall Thomas & Bryan Swanson
Last Updated: 24/06/20 8:24pm
Troy Deeney says he laughed at the "stupidity" of the 'White Lives Matter Burnley' banner flown over the Etihad Stadium on Monday - and is looking forward to thanking Ben Mee for his strong condemnation.
Clarets fan Jake Hepple was sacked by his employer Paradigm Precision on Wednesday after claiming to be behind the banner, which was branded "offensive" by the "embarrassed" Lancashire club.
Speaking exclusively to Sky Sports News about a raffle for the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, Watford striker Deeney says it is hard to still see a lack of understanding for the Black Lives Matter campaign.
However, he has been encouraged by the show of strength from Premier League players since the restart, and especially by Burnley skipper Mee, whom he will face when Watford travel to Turf Moor on Thursday, live on Sky Sports.
"It's been very good, very positive. What football does is reflects day-to-day society," he said.
"It feels different. If you look at protests, you see diverse groups. That's given me the biggest sense of change. We have to thank the Premier League for giving the players the opportunity to speak and a platform.
"(For Ben Mee) you have nothing but respect. I'm looking forward to catching up with Ben and thanking him in person for the way he handled it. He could very easily have spoken [only] about football.
"He really addressed the issue head on. Myself, and other people, were very pleased to see Ben take a stand. We can all learn from Ben.
"The banner made me chuckle, in the sense of stupidity. The words 'White Lives Matter' was not a racist situation. The context, we all knew what it was for. Nobody that I've ever listened to says all lives don't matter.
"We're just asking for an equal standing. In 2020, I don't think that's an unnatural, or difficult, request to be treated the same as everybody else.
"It's hard (to see a lack of understanding). You're asking them to understand a struggle they have no concept of. People wouldn't understand what it's like to be in a shop and stereotyped, to drive a nice car, police car goes past, 'we're going to be pulled over here'.
"Within the black community, you don't see a pathway. In football, there's no clear step on how to own a club. We're very much pigeonholed."
Deeney is part of #PlayersTogether, who are raffling their BLM football shirts on eBay UK and donating all funds raised to the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, which you can take part in here.
"The main part is to raise awareness and impact change," Deeney said. "We've had, for years now, a lot of people talking, but never really gone that extra step and impacted change.
"In light of recent events, you can see there is a real determination for people to help change and see that social injustice is not welcome in 2020."