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Former NBA and Boomers star Andrew Bogut has criticised fellow high-profile athletes for not speaking up about the effect of lockdowns in a lengthy rant on Instagram.
Bogut has been a vocal critic of lockdowns and their effectiveness since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, taking aim at fellow celebrities for not using their massive platforms to demand more accountability for the government.
The 11-minute video on Instagram contained some bold claims about sporting clubs banning players from discussing health orders around the country on social media, with Bogut also arguing he was speaking on behalf of the 'working class'.
Bogut's rant came on the same day more than 200 protesters were arrested in Melbourne during an anti-lockdown rally, while a smaller protest in Sydney was largely quelled by police.
The former Golden State Warriors center, who earned more than $110m (USD) in earning over his NBA career, acknowledged that he had it better than many doing it tough.
However, he argued this was all the more reason for people like himself to stand up for those who had lost work and incomes as a result of the pandemic.
While the federal government provided income support though Jobkeeper in 2020, they has thus far refused to reintroduce income support despite the entirety of NSW and Victoria being subject to lockdowns.
“But you athletes and you influencers that have all these sponsors and marketers behind you pushing promos to the plebs that buy your s**t, where’s your voice? Why aren’t any of you speaking up?" Bogut said.
“The very people that buy your f***ing deodorants and your moisturisers and your candles and your Nike shoes, whatever it is — the very people that buy that are the ones that are most affected by this s**t.
“Imagine being told you’re not essential to go to work and make money for your family.
“The people that are labourers and out in the public and in the workforce and out on the road all day, they’re deemed not essential? Nah, I’m not rolling.”
Bogut said he had been approached to appear in an advertisement encouraging people to stay home in 2020, but had refused because he considered it 'hypocritical' for sports stars and celebrities to be paid for that kind of work while so many others were hard done by.
Andrew Bogut fires up over lockdowns in lengthy Instagram rant
Bogut was far from done there, going on to claim that most Australian athletes were contractually required to refrain from posting anti-lockdown sentiment on social media.
Though he did not provide any evidence for his claim, Bogut nevertheless opined that athletes had been 'muzzled'.
“Athletes on contract in our biggest leagues in Australia … they’ve been told you are not to make anti-lockdown, anti-government statements on social media, period, no matter how drastic they are, because it affects our league staying open and you getting a salary,” Bogut said.
“That’s why these people aren’t batting for you.
“For those of you out there scratching your head in these tough times thinking, ‘Where are all these people, these influencers, these sports stars that I’ve supported with my minimum wage or middle class wage, buying jerseys for my kids and tickets — where are these people? Why can’t they go in to bat for me?’ That’s your reason.
“This is a bit of a rant, I get it, but I want to let people know what really goes on behind the scenes. What really happens. Why certain people cannot speak up.
“It’s crazy. It’s something we need to keep chatting about out in the open.”
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