Indigenous senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price has hit out at Netball Australia over their “absolutely ridiculous” response to Gina Reinhart’s multi-million dollar sponsorship deal.
It comes after Ms Rinehart’s mining company Hancock Prospecting withdrew its support for netball less than a month after it was announced as a high performance program partner of Australian Diamonds.
Players were initially hesitant to don gear with the company’s logo, due to historical remarks by its late founder Lang Hancock, Rinehart’s father, who in 1984 suggested slaughtering troublesome Indigenous Australians.
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Ms Price appeared on Sky News Australia’s Bolt Report on Monday night, backing Ms Rinehart’s decision to withdraw from the $15 million settlement.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous that there’s a notion that it’s OK these days to judge individuals based on what their mother, father, uncle, aunt, someone who was also related to them has done,” she told Sky News presenter Andrew Bolt.
“If that were the case, there would be many people, including Aboriginal people, who would all be looked down upon because of someone else’s actions or behaviour.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous that this even happened.”
Ms. Price applauded Ms. Reinhart for “standing up for herself and her values” and acknowledged that what her company does “deserves respect.”
“She (Gina) supported Indigenous Australians in so many different ways…and was extremely generous because she cares about the welfare of Indigenous Australians,” she said.
“To turn around and decide, ‘wait a minute, no, I don’t want to wear this because I decided to be upset by the comments of another relative, however many years ago’… it’s ridiculous.”
The Indigenous senator also took to Facebook to criticize Netball Australia, saying: “You make your bed, you lie in it”.
“Unless you have a good few million in your back pocket to support your sportsmanship code, your awakened sense of self-importance should be your private opinion and your private opinion only,” she wrote on Facebook Monday morning.
“Sporting codes, corporations and society in general need to grow a backbone and stop pandering to self-righteous individuals on the grounds that saying ‘No’ to their selfish demands might just attract accusations of racism or bigotry.
“Wake up Australia! Stop acting like brainless sheep and get on with the job, whatever it is.”
Ms Price’s outrage comes after Diamonds players, including Indigenous netballer Donnell Wallam, recently raised concerns about the partnership.
Wallam was reportedly set to seek an exemption from wearing sponsorship on her dress when she made her debut against England, with her teammates standing alongside her in an anti-mining company stance.
However, Australian Netball Players Association chief executive Kathryn Harby-Williams revealed to the ABC that Wallam was prepared to wear the company’s logo clothing after learning that no exemption would be granted and that “the pressure became too much to bear”. .
“Eventually Donnell requested a waiver for herself and that didn’t happen because there was a meeting last week where it was made very clear that no waivers would be granted to any of the players,” Summer said. tribune.
“And that was a disappointing moment because the players at least thought Donnell was going to be waived at that point.
Hancock Prospecting released a statement on Saturday “regrettably” announcing the decision to withdraw from the deal.
The withdrawal from the reported $15 million deal – touted by Netball Australia as a “major investment for our sport” at the end of September – is a financial blow to an organization that posted a $4.4 million loss in the 2021 financial year.
“Hancock and Roy Hill do not wish to contribute to Netball’s inconsistency issues and therefore Hancock has advised Netball Australia… that it has withdrawn from its proposed funding partnership with immediate effect,” Hancock Prospecting said in a statement.
“Roy Hill, majority owned by Hancock, will also end its sponsorship deal with Netball WA… to be the main partner of West Coast Fever.”
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