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"You don't understand the thing" | Klopp hits out at BLM detractors

Stephen Doyle
Stephen Doyle

17:10 23 Jun 2020

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes that more education for young children is needed to help deal with ongoing issues of racial inequality.

Klopp was speaking in response to the offensive banner that read "White Lives Matter Burnley" which was towed by an aeroplane over the Etihad Stadium during the Premier League meeting of Manchester City and Burnley on Monday night.

The phrase 'White Lives Matter' has been adopted by racists and white supremacists after the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement which began in the US following numerous incidents of police brutality against Afro-American people.

Klopp feels that last night's incident, which is now being investigated by police, demonstrates that society still has some way to go before everybody is treated equally.

"It's another sign that we're not there, where we want to be. That's how it is," said Klopp.

"It's an obvious thing that all lives matter. You don't have to mention that.

"In this moment, with what happened in different places in America - not only there - but when the whole thing started again, you don't have to mention that.

"That only shows that you don't understand the thing. That's it. I cannot describe it differently."

Klopp admits that there are many people in society that have no interest in being educated on issues of racial inequality.

The German is hopeful that that can change if more efforts are made to teach children from a very young age.

"We need to be more convincing. We need to create more knowledge. We have to start earlier. We have to educate our kids earlier," added Klopp.

"We have to tell them immediately from the first day of their lives about equality, that we are all the same, stuff like this that maybe we failed with in the past but that's over now.

"So we can start that now. We have to start that now. In this generation there are obviously still people who don't want to understand.

"You saw that, not only last night, but last night was a sign that we need more time to convince everybody about it."

Klopp also dismissed the suggestion that it is only the current generation of football managers and players that are interested in speaking out against racism.

"I am twenty years in [management] and it was never different to be honest. For me it was always the same," said Klopp.

"I don't know one manager, in my whole career - even as a player - which makes it thirty-something years, who had one racist thought in his mind because it doesn't fit together with this game.

"They always spoke out, in moments when we all spoke about it.

"So maybe that's the issue for all of us that from time to time when we think things are going well, we forget it again and we don't always have to make it always the main subject because there are a lot of problems in this world.

"But in this moment it is really important and like the intensity [with which] we are discussing it."

Klopp was speaking ahead of his side's league match against Crystal Palace at Anfield on Wednesday night.

His Palace counterpart Roy Hodgson called the banner flying incident a "rogue act" and said he felt sorry for the people of Burnley and everyone at the club.

"I am afraid there will always be rouge acts and they have to be dealt with when they occur," said the former England manager.

"It just reminds us that there is more work to be done and there are still people out there who don't sympathise with the cause like most people are doing."

In his post-match interview, Burnley captain Ben Mee said he and the squad were left "ashamed and embarrassed" by the far-right message.

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe, a former manager with the Clarets, praised Mee for speaking out.

"I echo Ben Mee's comments, who I thought spoke really, really well after the game and I'm sure it's a very small minority of Burnley supporters who have done that," said Howe.

"The majority of Burnley supporters that I met in my time there were fantastic people.

"Just to reemphasise, on behalf of Bournemouth, that we're against all racism and discrimination."

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Read more about

Black Lives Matter Burnley Jurgen Klopp Liverpool Manchester City Premier League Roy Hodgson

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