A non-league football club have complained after someone claiming to be linked to them called a radio station and expressed “reprehensible views” about the Black Lives Matter movement.
Northern Premier League side South Shields issued a statement distancing the club from the comments made during an LBC phone-in.
A caller, referring to himself as James, mentioned the “White Lives Matter Burnley” banner flown over Manchester City’s stadium ahead of their game against Burnley on Monday.
He also claimed to have had a conversation with South Shields joint-manager Graham Fenton about the topic.
The club said they supported the Black Lives Matter campaign and are now trying to identify the caller, adding the views expressed in the call-in were “reprehensible”.
Earlier today, an individual claiming to represent SSFC was featured on @LBC and expressed reprehensible views about the Black Lives Matter movement. This disgusting person in fact has no connection to the Club.— South Shields FC (@SouthShieldsFC) June 24, 2020
Statement: https://t.co/WpXkMf2INv#BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/lKFc7Cqupx
In a statement, South Shields FC said: “This is completely fabricated and simply untrue. The false allegation both enrage and appall Graham and everyone at the Club.
“Graham is a real advocate of diversity and equality, and would never be associated with such views or comments as those made by the caller.”
The club have said they are demanding an apology from LBC, claiming the station had not attempted to check if the caller was linked to the club.
In a statement Mr Fenton, who played in the Premier League, said: “I am absolutely disgusted that this unknown person to our great club claims to have had a call with myself regarding the Black Lives Matter movement.
“I can assure everyone that no such conversation with this person or any other person for that matter has taken place.
“I wholeheartedly support the Black Lives Matter movement and really hope this initiative ends the oppression and social injustices that have affected black lives for far too long.”