Liz Cambage has hit back at Australian basketball great Andrew Bogut after calling her out following the Opals star’s decision to backtrack from her threat to boycott the Tokyo Olympics over “whitewashed” team photoshoots.
Last week, Cambage took issue with two promotional pictures showing predominantly white Australian Olympic athletes.
The first photo shoot organized by the team’s apparel sponsor, Jockey, included no people of color. In contrast, 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.
“Until I see you doing more @ausolympicteam, I 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, where she declared she was “in” for the Games.
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.
‘Poor form’: Bogut bites back.
The Australian Olympic Committee conceded Cambage had a point and said future photoshoots would reflect the diversity of the country’s athletes. But speaking on his podcast Rogue Bogues, Bogut cautioned against “counting” variety in photos.
“What frustrates me with this is counting the number of different skin colors 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 color 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 photoshoot.
“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.