Those who have difficulty with understanding the Black Lives Matter campaign may be enjoying a sigh of relief this morning after it was announced that no crime had been committed when a light aircraft trailing a banner with the message “WHITE LIVES MATTER BURNLEY” was flown over the Etihad Stadium, not long after this week’s game between Manchester City and Burnley had kicked off.
Hepple’s partner Megan Rambadt, who had openly expressed views such as “I love Burnley but I must admit it’s pretty grim, that town centre is like a foreign country. Needs sorting” and “They need sending back on banana boats, stinkin bastards”, was suspended by her employer. They initially decided to send Ms Rambadt for racial sensitivity training, but ultimately decided against it. Megan Rambadt has been sacked.
That, though, misses the real problem for Paradigm Precision: the firm has serious previous form when it comes to not dealing with bigotry, as Pink News reported only two months ago. The headline, “Gay aerospace engineer wins £175,000 payout after his ‘worst nightmares’ about coming out at work came true” gives a flavour of what happened.
“The married 41-year-old explained to PinkNews that he was in line to take over as general manager of the company’s UK site in Burnley - but things went awry when he came out at work in 2018 and made enquiries into adoption leave … After he was passed over for promotion and his marriage to a man became common knowledge, Allen faced a string of homophobic incidents - including derogatory emails and ‘limp-wristed hand gestures’ from colleagues”. And so it all ended up in court.
So the firm already has a bad reputation on bigotry. Would they care to make it worse?
[UPDATE 1720 hours: Paradigm Precision have now made their hard choice, and as the Mirror has told, that choice was that Jake Hepple was awarded the sack. So now he and his partner have achieved equal status.
The report goes on to say "The Burnley fan behind the White Lives Matter banner that was flown over the Etihad Stadium has been sacked from his job ... Jake Hepple worked as a welder at Paradigm Precision in Lancashire, but has been dismissed for taking responsibility for the stunt ... The company said it 'did not condone or tolerate racism in any form'".
It should be remembered that Hepple had already asserted that he would not apologise. But Hepple wants everyone to know that he's not a racist.
He exercised his freedom of speech and expression. Paradigm Precision exercised their freedom of choice. Actions have consequences]