Basketball star Liz Cambage has come under fire after she called out a team-mate for wearing blackface at an end-of-season fancy dress party.
Cambage, who is of Nigerian descent, said on social media on Sunday she was “shocked and disturbed” her Opals team-mate Alice Kunek attended the Melbourne Boomers’ “Silly Sunday” celebrations dressed and made up as Kanye West.
Kunek issued a series of tweets in which she attempted to explain her actions with an apology to her followers “who were offended by my previous post”, which was subsequently deleted and replaced by a similar image, but without face paint.
Kunek, who could find herself on the same team as Cambage at the Olympic Games in Rio, was widely condemned for her posts, but Cambage also found herself on the receiving end of a barrage of criticism.
Cambage, who plays in China, was variously accused of being a “sook”, “looking for attention” and offending people with her political correctness in tweets aimed at her.
She responded by saying, “I have learnt so much from white males today on racism, thanks so much guys.”
Cambage noted that former Opals player Natalie Porter, founder of a business called Npire which, among other things, provides elite coaching programs, supported some of the derogatory posts.
Former Olympic swimmer Stephanie Rice also appeared to back the views of some of those critical of Cambage’s stance.
The Boomers’ general manager, Justin Nelson, said the club would review its processes on educating players about “sensitive social issues”.
“The club understands the reaction to the photo and is working with Alice and Basketball Australia to ensure that the general public is aware of Alice’s sincere remorse,” Nelson wrote on the Boomers’ website.
“We have personally spoken with Alice and she is understandably very upset, but she will learn from the incident and be a wiser person for it.”
This article was written by Guardian sport, for theguardian.com on Monday 22nd February 2016 02.20 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010