If you’ve ever watched a Las Vegas Aces game, you’d know center Liz Cambage is not afraid of expressing herself. Cambage took to Instagram this past week threatening to boycott the Tokyo Olympics after calling out a promotional photo for Jockey Australia.
The photo for Jockey apparel included several white Australian athletes, prompting Cambage to share the photos on her Instagram story saying it was an example of whitewashing and did not represent diversity among Australia’s professional athletes.
“If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a million times, HOW AM I MEANT TO REPRESENT A COUNTRY THAT DOESN’T EVEN REPRESENT ME #whitewashedaustralia,” Cambage wrote.
In an attempt to further her point, she shared another photo, but this time from the Australian Olympic Team’s Instagram. She added, "Also fake tan doesn't equal diversity", in reference to Indigenous Rugby player Maurice Longbottom.
The WNBA star was born in London to an Australian mother and Nigerian father and has represented Australia for the past two Olympic games. As she vented via Instagram stories, she threatened to boycott the upcoming Olympics games writing, "Y'all really do anything to remove POCs from the forefront when it's black athletes leading the pack until I see you doing more @ausolympicteam imma sit this one out."
Along with the rest of the WNBA players, Cambage has been very outspoken about racism following the death of George Floyd, but especially racism in Australia. In a previous Instagram story, she said, “We have blood all over our hands, Australia. We are covered in it. And you don’t even understand why. How dare people say, 'Black Lives Matter.' How f---ing dare you people say that when we have the darkest, most twisted, most disgusting past when it comes to Indigenous Australians and the treatment of Indigenous Australians.”
Since Cambage’s rant, Jockey Australia posted a statement admitting they “fell short" in representing the diverse Australian community.
The Australian Olympic Committee also shared a statement, saying in part:
The athletes made available to Jockey could and should have better reflected the rich diversity of athletes who represent Australia at the Olympic Games.
The AOC does however have a very proud history of celebrating and promoting diversity in all its forms. From Indigenous reconciliation, people of colour, gender equality and all forms of diversity, the AOC is rightly proud of its record.
However, one of Australia’s most successful women’s basketball coaches Tom Maher joined the conversation calling Cambage’s threats “inappropriate” in an interview with The Australian.
“It is inappropriate to make such a big deal out of pretty much nothing,” said Maher, who coached Australia's women’s basketball team at the 1996 Atlanta Games and at the 2000 Sydney Games. “There have been no bad intentions (in posts of the athletes). Was there a homosexual athlete represented? Was there a Chinese Australian athlete mentioned? I mean, where does it end?”
Cambage is currently preparing for the 2021 WNBA season-opener on May 15 and does not seem phased by any statements or comments regarding her recent sentiments on diverse representation within Australian Olympic sports. On Saturday, Cambage posted a video sticking her tongue out that wrote:
“I DO NOT CARE FOR A WHITE MANS OPINION ON RACIAL ISSUES