Netball Australia Players Should Consider Their Own History Before Virtue Signalling

Netball Australia Players Should Consider Their Own History Before Virtue Signalling

My latest article is published by the Epoch Times, Australia. 

A wise Rabbi from Nazareth once said you should take the plank out of your own eye before you attend to the speck in another’s. It is a principle that Australian Netball should have remembered in its recent controversy over Hancock Prospecting and its, now former, sponsorship of the Australian Netball team.

A number of players took issue with Hancock Prospecting, the opinions of Gina Rinehart about climate change, and in particular, a statement Lang Hancock (Rinehart’s father) made in 1984 about sterilising and breeding out Aboriginal people.

The debacle cast a shadow over what should have been a celebration with the imminent debut of a player who would have been the first Indigenous member of the national team in 25 years and the third ever.

However, even that cause for celebration raised a serious question. If Wallam was only the third indigenous player on the national team ever, what is Australian Netball’s record on Aboriginal participation? The answer is not encouraging.

About four percent of those involved in Australian netball are Indigenous. But the high level of grassroots participation does not result in elite and representative participation. In fact, only three Indigenous players have made the national team, called the Diamonds, in almost a century of Australian netball.

Discrimination in the Highest Level of Competition

Sharon Finnan-White, the second Indigenous member of the Diamonds, has alleged there is a bias against Aboriginal players and an allegedly racist culture that has prevented Indigenous players from rising up through the pathways for elite players.

She alleged of Fox Sports that: “A lot of our players haven‘t been able to get into the pathway because of unconscious bias and stereotyping and racism.” .......

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