Australian basketball legend Andrew Gaze has delivered a scathing response to Liz Cambage’s “highly offensive” remarks.
Australian basketball legend Andrew Gaze has delivered a scathing response to Liz Cambage’s “highly offensive” remarks about Basketball Australia and her former Opals teammates after her alleged racial slur was made public over the weekend.
Cambage missed Australia’s 2021 Olympic marketing campaign in Tokyo, pulling out of the squad citing psychological well being causes following alleged incidents throughout a coaching camp — together with a blow-up with Nigeria throughout a follow match.
An investigation by Basketball Australia noticed Cambage issued with a proper reprimand and the Opals by no means recovered from her late withdrawal, bombing out of the Olympics within the quarter-finals.
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Former Opals captain Jenna O’Hea introduced the scandal again into headlines on Sunday, declaring on ABC’s Offsiders that Cambage won’t ever signify her nation once more.
O’Hea additionally publicly confirmed rumours about what Cambage mentioned through the follow match towards Nigeria, the place she allegedly instructed a participant: “Go back to your third world country.”
“I really want the media to focus on those players who want to be Opals and who want to represent Australia and who are really dedicated to Australia and I think that’s really important,” O’Hea added.
“We have sacrificed a lot to try and keep her in the program. You know, she doesn’t want to be here anymore and that’s her choice and we need to move on without her.”
Last week Cambage, who’s enjoying her first season with the Los Angeles Sparks within the WNBA, instructed the ABC she “never” felt supported and guarded whereas representing the Opals.
“I’m living my best life,” she mentioned.
“I’m supported, I’m protected on a level that the Opals or the Australian team never gave to me.
“My heart lies with those who want to protect me and those who want me to be the best I can be, and I never felt that at the Opals at all. So yeah, I’m good.”
Speaking on SEN’s The Run Home on Monday, an emotional Gaze condemned Cambage’s “grossly unfair” feedback and prompt that the WNBA All-Star’s remarks have been “far more offensive” than what’s been reported.
The five-time Olympian served as a board member for Basketball Australia throughout a big portion of Cambage’s time representing the Opals, and strongly denied that the administration ever deserted her.
“The thing that really, really grates at me is when she makes the comments to say she feels supported in Los Angeles at a level that wasn’t there with the Australian team; and the suggestion that she was never supported by Australia, the Opals or Basketball Australia, that is highly offensive,” he mentioned.
“There was some behaviour from Liz that under any reasonable judgment, there would have been some significant repercussions
“She was supported, not just by me, but any others along the way.
“To say that she wasn’t supported is unfair; it is grossly unfair.
“I have great sympathy and compassion for where she was at that point in time … but the bottom line is she made some decisions that didn’t support her teammates, yet despite that, her teammates supported her during that time.
“There might be some times where she has certainly suffered some hardships … but the suggestion on this particulate incident, and others, that her teammates, her coaches, Basketball Australia or anyone wasn’t supporting her, that is offensive. That is offensive to people who are going out of their way to try and put in place a system where she can actually perform to her best.
“You don‘t get paid for representing your country, you get very, very little. That’s not your sole source of income. It’s about honour. It’s about privilege. It’s about a sense of responsibility. It’s about looking at your life and seeing how other people have provided you a privileged opportunity to perform to the highest level.
“And when you don‘t respect that, and in fact you go the other way and say these people have actually harmed me, that is disgusting behaviour by her. And it’s offensive to me, it’s offensive to anyone that’s represented our country.”