Netball Australia is scrambling after the loss of a lifesaving sponsor due to conflicts between players and their benefactor’s predecessor. Many blame the team’s “woke” mentality for the demise of the partnership, claiming snowflakes tanked the deal with their “entitled, hypocritical and financially illiterate” stance.
The Diamonds, Australia’s national netball team, were nearly broke and looking at bankruptcy by the end of 2022, according to reports. The team had lost $4.5 million in the last two years and would owe $2.5 million in debt by the end of the year.
The team with 11 titles was looking at an end to its 84-year run when Hancock Prospecting’s Gina Rinehart, Australia’s richest woman, stepped in with an $8.8 million sponsorship deal through 2025.
RELIVE THAT LAST 30 SECONDS RIGHT HERE BECAUSE WE CAN’T EVEN BELIEVE WHAT WE JUST SAW.
— Fox Netball (@fox_netball) October 26, 2022
But the reprieve didn’t last long. Players immediately took aim at Rinehart, saying her company did not represent the players’ values, namely because of insensitive comments by the company’s founder who died 30 years ago.
“We’ve always stood up for social justice, we’ve always been anti-gambling, no smoking,” said former captain Sharni Norder on social media
Despite the sport desperately needing the $15 million investment, Diamonds players have objected to wearing the company logo as it goes against their values. pic.twitter.com/lqDrYzfrn7
— ABC SPORT (@abcsport) October 15, 2022
The late founder of the company, Lang Hancock, was one of Australia’s richest men after discovering the world’s largest iron ore deposit. He was active politically and often found himself in hot water for his controversial views toward the country’s Aboriginal people.
While one could understand why an aboriginal sports player might be reluctant to wear the name Hanckock on their jersey after the founder suggested chemical sterilization as a form of managing Australia’s native population, the remarks were made more than 40 years ago and the company has been under the leadership of a new generation since his death.
“We bore witness to an exhibition in feigned moral superiority with active and former Diamonds players apparently objecting to Hancock Prospecting being involved in Netball Australia due to racial comments made by the late Lang Hancock,” wrote Sky News Australia commentator Caroline Di Russo. “As in, not Gina herself or any current member of management but rather comments of a man who passed away in 1992.”
Norder also took issue with the Hancock Prospecting and Rinehart specifically, arguing that Australian netball should not put their brand next to “an open climate denier.”
Hi Jason. Let me make clear that my environmental concerns were my own. But don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story.. there’s a lot that hasn’t been said. Listen to @AusNetballPA interview on @abcnews this morning if you want some facts. I also stand by them. https://t.co/OUsUrWJNbk
— Sharni Norder (@SharniNorder) October 24, 2022
Because the richest woman in Australia didn’t need to stick around and watch a handful of athletes drag her name through the mud, Rinehart pulled her check and parted ways.
“And just when this whole comedy of errors couldn’t get more ridiculous, it was reported last week that Hancock Prospecting was pulling its [$8.8] million sponsorship from the Netball Australia and – wait for it – said organization will now approach major betting companies to come on board to sponsor,” Di Russo wrote. “Turns out you can score an own goal in netball after all.”
“The Bolt Report” host Andrew Bolt thanked the Hancock Prospecting CEO for teaching the team a valuable lesson.
“Thank you Gina,” he said. “Thank you Gina, for teaching the Diamonds, Australia’s national netball team, a badly needed lesson. Go woke, go broke. I mean that literally. Netball Australia is now broke because its woke athletes acted so stupidly that Rinehart said ‘I’m out of here.'”
In today’s unstable market with inflation at all time highs, many saw the team’s moral superiority as “entitled” and “hypocritical.”
“So, while most people are grateful for mercies – small or otherwise – our professional sporting codes continue to outdo each other in the entitlement and hypocrisy stakes,” Di russo said. “By scaring off a [$8.8] million deal they desperately needed to stay afloat, Diamonds players and the sport’s national governing body couldn’t have painted themselves as more entitled, hypocritical and financially illiterate if they tried.”
Twitter users endorsed Di Russo’s opinion that Diamond’s players were being “entitled, hypocritical and financially illiterate.”
If I offered a sport $15 Million in sponsorship and they started giving me shit in the media I would chuck my toys out of the cot and walk too. Lang was a nasty piece of work and the apple did not fall far from the tree with Gina, but this was not how to get a retraction.
— captain ahab (@captain994455) October 24, 2022
Bull. Gina is Not responsible for what others think or say. She is not responsible for people falsely projecting that she is.
The Player has a choice, play wearing the uniform or don’t.
Net Ball Australia can take the sponsorship $ or reject the deal & the $’s.
— DaveVsGoliath2 (@DGoliath2) October 18, 2022
In 1984 non of the current net ballers where born , not sure how the comment 38 years on effect them , well it’s going to effect them that they won’t be getting paid and net ball Australia will go broke currently 27 million in debt Look Forward Not 38 years backwards
— Bigjase23 (@Jc23Jase) October 24, 2022
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