A professor who criticized Scott Morrison for preferring white bread has claimed netball is ‘racist on every level’.
Nareen Young, head of the Indigenous People and Work Research and Practice Hub at the University of Technology, Sydney, made the comments after Aboriginal woman and Diamonds player Donnell Wallam raised concerns about a sponsorship deal.
The sponsorship deal between Netball Australia and Gina Rinehart’s mining company Hancock Prospecting came under scrutiny after Ms Wallam noted a comment made by Rinehart’s father Lang Hancock about indigenous ‘half-casting’ in a 1984 documentary.
“My observation and experience over many years is that there is quite a lot of racism in netball at all levels,” Indigenous Prof Young told ABC program The Drum.
University of Technology Sydney Professor Nareen Young (pictured on The Drum on Wednesday night) said she believes netball is racist ‘at every level’
Prof. Young, who has worked with Netball Australia on the board, told the program on Wednesday: ‘Indigenous players make up so many local carnivals that a promotional video about netball was made and released and it was just all these blonde people. ‘
Prof. Young said she had spoken to indigenous players at the local competitive level who said they routinely experienced racism while on the field.
2GB radio host Ben Fordham asked the professor to stop “throwing around claims of racism like its confetti” and show proof of her claims.
The Australian Diamonds sing the anthem during the Constellation Cup netball match between New Zealand and Australia at Spark Arena on October 12, 2022 in Auckland, New Zealand. They did not wear the Hancock Prospecting logo on their uniforms
2GB radio host Ben Fordham slammed Prof. Young and asked that she stop “throwing around allegations of racism like its confetti”
‘She has made unsubstantiated allegations of racism involving netball. Netball is racist. Not an easy claim to make there, Fordham said Thursday morning.
‘Tell me, have you noticed a lot of racism in the under 10s at the local school carnival? There is not an ounce of evidence.
‘If you have an example, share it, use your voice, use your platform on the ABC to exclude people who were racist.
‘It’s not that I don’t believe you, it’s just that Professor Nareen Young sees racial stereotypes in some of the strangest places.
‘Including in the bread aisle and in the toaster.’
Players have rallied behind Aboriginal team member Donnell Wallam (pictured) after she expressed concern over a shocking statement made by Rinehart’s father Lang Hancock.
Her comments come after members of Australia’s national netball team – the Diamonds – refused to wear a uniform bearing the logo of Hancock Prospecting, Gina Rinehart’s mining company.
Team member Donnell Wallam raised concerns about a shocking statement Rinehart’s father Lang Hancock had made about there being an Aboriginal “problem” in an interview four decades ago.
“Those who are not good for themselves and can’t accept things, the half-castes – and that’s where most of the trouble comes,” said Mr. Hancock in the 1984 documentary Couldn’t Be Fairer.
Gina Rinehart (right) is pictured with her father Lang Hancock, who started the company Hancock Prospecting. His comments from a 1984 interview have angered members of the Diamonds team
‘I would dope up the water so they were sterile and would breed themselves in the future and that would solve the problem.’
Former Diamonds captain Sharni Norder told the current team that Hancock Prospecting ‘is a company that does not fit the values of Netball Australia’.
Prof. Young said she was proud of the ‘fantastic female players’ who supported their team-mate and hopes their rejection of the sponsorship is a ‘turning point’.
Netball Australia addressed the professor’s claims in a statement on Wednesday, saying they were ‘unaware of these allegations but take any allegation of racism extremely seriously’.
“Netball Australia made a public commitment to listen, learn and change by engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and hearing about their experiences in netball,” the statement read.
“This incredibly important work continues, and we welcome the opportunity to further understand these claims.”
The partnership between Hancock Prospecting and Netball Australia is reportedly worth $3.5 million a year until the end of 2025 (pictured, Indigenous netballer Donnell Wallam)
In a statement, Hancock Prospecting said it is “aware that there have been some recent inquiries regarding Hancock’s relationship with traditional owners”.
“Hancock has positive agreements with all of the native title holders in the areas in which we operate and provides very significant royalty payments to the traditional owners in all of our mining areas, well over $300 million in the past seven years alone,” it said.
‘We work very closely with local communities to offer training, jobs, business development and contract opportunities as well as heritage, health and education initiatives.’
Prof. Young has been called ‘one of Australia’s most respected and leading practitioners and thinkers of diversity in the workplace’ and has also worked as Director of Indigenous Consulting at financial firm Price Waterhouse Coopers.
In addition, she was the Executive Director of the Diversity Council of Australia and was recently appointed Associate Dean of the University of Technology’s Business School.
Former Diamonds captain Sharni Norder told the current team that Hancock Prospecting ‘is a company that does not fit Netball Australia’s values’ (Ms Wallam is pictured far left)
Prof. Young (pictured) hit the headlines earlier this year after she slammed then Prime Minister Scott Morrison for preferring white bread to ‘delicious’ black bread
Prof. Young made headlines earlier this year after she criticized then Prime Minister Scott Morrison for preferring white bread to ‘delicious’ black bread.
‘Who eats white bread in this country? Anglo men. I think it shows a profound lack of understanding of who works in this country. I think there is a deep intersection between race and class.’
She later took to Twitter to recommend Mr Morrison try a different bread.
Prof. Sharing a photograph, Young said: ‘This is my last word on the subject. On the right is my father, Bob Young (here with my late Uncle Brian).
“My dad is as working class as it gets and he eats black bread because his family background is Swedish,” she tweeted with a photo of her family.
‘Has always. It’s delicious. Scott Morrison should try it.’
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was the best man at her wedding.
The bread controversy prompted the then opposition leader to say he believed Australians can eat ‘whatever bread they like’.