Bogut fuels Liz Cambage conspiracy
Australian basketball great Andrew Bogut has called out Liz Cambage after the WNBA star withdrew her threat to boycott the Tokyo Olympics over "whitewashed" team photo shoots.
Last week, Cambage took issue with two promotional pictures showing predominantly white Australian Olympic athletes.
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The first photo shoot organised by the team's apparel sponsor, Jockey, included no people of colour, while Indigenous rugby player Maurice Longbottom was the only non-white face in the second group picture.
While preparing for the new WNBA season with the Las Vegas Aces, Cambage threatened to boycott the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo.
"HOW AM I MEANT TO REPRESENT A COUNTRY THAT DOESN'T EVEN REPRESENT ME #whitewashedaustralia," she posted on Instagram.
"Until I see you doing more @ausolympicteam imma sit this one out".
The 29-year-old, who has a Nigerian father and Australian mother, backtracked in a post on the social media platform on Tuesday.
"I'm in baby, I'm in," she said.
"I'm going to play with my sisters that I've been playing with since I was a wee little thing and imma ball out for all those young brown kids back in Australia watching me."
Cambage's threat received a mixed response in Australia - some applauded her for taking a stand while others, including former tennis star Todd Woodbridge, accused her of "disrespecting" fellow athletes.
The Australian Olympic Committee conceded Cambage had a point and said future photo shoots would reflect the diversity of the country's athletes.
But speaking on his podcast Rogue Bogues, Bogut cautioned against "counting" diversity in photos.
"What frustrates me with this is counting the amount of different skin colours in a photo is just poor form," Bogut said.
"It's a pretty slippery slope once you start counting.
"Some of our most prominent people of colour that play for Australia, Patty Mills and Ben Simmons, they're playing in the best league in the world right now, they can't even come to that photo shoot.
"I don't think Cambage can, she's probably overseas.
"There's a lot of different factors that go into it, this is made out like it was a blatant effort to whitewash the photo, to make Australia look white.
"C'mon. Not in today's day and age, you'd be an idiot if you're running the AOC to do that, because you're going to get blow ups."
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The NBA champion also warned that the Cambage saga could impact the Opals' performance in Tokyo.
"I can separate off-court with the on-court, but I just don't think this helps any situation going into an Olympics," Bogut said.
Taking to Twitter, Bogut seemed to suggest there was a possible ulterior motive behind Cambage's boycott threat, referencing her link to Bonds, who she fronted a new underwear campaign for in 2019.
One of the promotional photo shoots that infuriated Cambage was for another underwear company, Jockey, with Bogut implying Cambage may have been motivated to criticise the snap by factors other than racial equality.
"Anyone know who @Jockey's biggest competitor is?" Bogut tweeted. "Anyone have a list of ambassadors for @jockey's competitor?
"Quick tip: Bonds. Now, research time. All make sense yet?"
Cambage, part of the Australian team that won bronze at the 2012 London Olympics, was unfazed by criticism and said she would continue to speak out.
"I'm such a psycho b***h that all the hate that you give me turns me on, it makes me go harder and push for more," she said.
- with AFP
Originally published as Bogut fuels Liz Cambage conspiracy