Aussie basketball stars feud over 'whitewash' race row

·2-min read
Basketball star Liz Cambage has hit back at criticism from former NBA championship winner Andrew Bogut over her stance on "whitewashed" Australia team photos

Australian basketball's longest-running feud flared again Wednesday when former NBA star Andrew Bogut took aim at women's Olympic stalwart Liz Cambage over her accusations team photos had been "whitewashed".

Cambage threatened to boycott the Tokyo Games over the lack of racial diversity in two photoshoots before backtracking and declaring she would represent Australia in Japan.

Bogut, an NBA championship-winning centre with the Golden State Warriors in 2015, labelled Cambage's criticism as "absolutely ridiculous".

He said the two-time Olympian, who has a Nigerian father and Australian mother and is preparing for the new WNBA season with the Las Vegas Aces, was basing her argument on "counting the amount of different skin colours in a photo".

Bogut said many Australian athletes of colour, including Cambage herself, were unavailable for promotional photoshoots because they were excelling overseas.

"This is made out like it was a blatant effort to whitewash the photo, to make Australia look white," Bogut said on his podcast Rogue Bogues.

"Come on, not in today's day and age. You'd be an idiot if you're running the AOC (Australian Olympic Committee) to do that because you're going to get blow-ups."

Cambage and Bogut have a history of bad blood dating back to just before the Rio 2016 Olympics, when he mocked her online for attending a Black Lives Matter protest in Melbourne.

Bogut, who retired last year after a string of injuries, has continued to chip away intermittently, prompting Cambage to respond to his latest criticism on social media.

"Mr Bogut's obsession with me so strange, it's been like 10 years of you speaking on my name.... if you want me just say that," she tweeted, followed by a string of crying and laughing emojis.

Bogut responded: "Love ya @ecambage! Could you please not use all yellow emojis and use a more diverse range of emojis next time?"

The Australian Olympic Committee conceded after Cambage's aired her initial concerns that she had a point and future photoshoots would reflect its diversity of athletes.

ns/dm/dh