Australian basketball star Liz Cambage has ripped into the WNBA just a day after breaking the all-time scoring record in a game.
Cambage posted a 53-point haul for the Dallas Wings, and then went on tirade about the WNBA and its treatment of players, the pay disparity with men and attempts by referees to make them “more ladylike”.
“The WNBA is constantly called the best league in the world, yet we don’t get treated like the best athletes in the world,” Cambage said.
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In a WNBA-organised conference call, Cambage accused referees of trying to “suppress” WNBA games by hitting players with technical fouls for showing emotion, including flexing after making a big play.
“We are women and we are passionate and we are playing hard,” said Cambage.
“Let us play our game and try not to soften it because it is making it boring and right now it makes me feel like they are trying to make it more ladylike.
“That’s not how we play. We play like fierce women. Stop trying to suppress our game.”
The Opals star also criticised the way they are forced to play back-to-back games in different US cities while flying in economy class planes.
“We sign $1-million contracts in Asia and Russia and get treated like royalty but when we are here in America we are flying in the back of the plane in economy, playing back-to-backs,” she said.
The average WNBA player earns around $71,000 (AU $96,000) a season and elite players $114,000 (AU $154,000).
Cambage was named as an All-Star on Tuesday, and is the WNBA’s second top scorer averaging 21.4 points per game and has helped Dallas into fourth place.