Gina Rinehart pulls million sponsorship from Diamonds after Netball team aired concerns

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Gina Rinehart has withdrawn her $15million sponsorship from the Diamonds after the national netball team raised concerns about the deal.

Her mining company Hancock Prospecting released a statement on Saturday revealing it was pulling its support from the Australian team.

The move comes after the team expressed concerns over the environmental impact of the mining company and comments made about Aboriginals by Ms Rinehart’s father Lang Hancock in the 1980s. 

Indigenous player Donnell Wallam was reportedly uncomfortable wearing the uniform with the Hancock Prospecting logo.

‘Contrary to media reports, Hancock Prospecting has not insisted that its name be worn by the Australian Diamonds in the current Constellation Cup series when overseas,’ Hancock Prospecting said. 

Gina Rinehart pulls million sponsorship from Diamonds after Netball team aired concerns

Gina Rinehart has pulled her $15million sponsorship from the Diamonds after the national netball team raised concerns about the deal

Donnell Wallam (pictured) is an Aboriginal woman and a member of the Diamonds Australian netball squad

Donnell Wallam (pictured) is an Aboriginal woman and a member of the Diamonds Australian netball squad

‘Hancock and Roy Hill does not want to add to Netball’s disunity problems and accordingly Hancock has advised the governing body that it has withdrawn from its proposed partnership, effective immediately.’

The partnership between Hancock Prospecting and Netball Australia is reportedly worth $3.5million a year until the end of 2025.

It comes as a massive blow for the sporting organisation after it had struggled to find a big time sponsor that was prepared to pay $15million. 

‘Hancock’s proposed sponsorship would have enabled a generous increase in wages for the players which would not have otherwise been possible given Netball’s financial situation,’ Hancock Prospecting said. 

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The company has promised to provide short term funding for the team until it is able to secure another sponsorship.

‘Hancock and Roy Hill have advised Netball Australia and Netball WA respectively, that it will instead provide a four-month sponsorship should they and their players wish to accept it, to continue funding the athletes and to help Netball as it arranges alternative funding and sponsorships,’ the company said. 

Gina Rinehart (right) is pictured with her father Lang Hancock, who started the company Hancock Prospecting. His comments from an 1984 interview have angered members of the Diamonds team

Gina Rinehart (right) is pictured with her father Lang Hancock, who started the company Hancock Prospecting. His comments from an 1984 interview have angered members of the Diamonds team

The move comes after the team expressed concerns over the environmental impact of the mining company and comments made about Aboriginals by Ms Rinehart's father Lang Hancock in the 1980s (pictured, Diamonds player Steph Wood)

The move comes after the team expressed concerns over the environmental impact of the mining company and comments made about Aboriginals by Ms Rinehart’s father Lang Hancock in the 1980s (pictured, Diamonds player Steph Wood)

In a 1984 television interview, Mr Hancock made a shocking statement about Indigenous Australians.

‘The ones that are no good to themselves and can’t accept things, the half-castes -and this is where most of the trouble comes,’ Mr Hancock said in the 1984 documentary film Couldn’t Be Fairer.

‘I would dope the water up so that they were sterile and would breed themselves out in future and that would solve the problem.’

Mr Hancock died in 1992 at the age of 82, and said Indigenous Australians who had been ‘assimilated’ should be left alone.

‘Those that have been assimilated into, you know, earning good living or earning wages amongst the civilised areas,’ he said. 

‘Those that have been accepted into society and they have accepted society and can handle society, I’d leave them well alone.’

Former Diamonds captain Sharni Norder told the current squad that Hancock Prospecting ‘is a company that doesn’t suit Netball Australia’s values’.

Ms Rinehart previously said climate change is not a man-made phenomenon.

‘We’ve always stood up for social justice, we’ve always been anti-gambling, no smoking … and there were, and are, other avenues to source sponsorship,’ said Ms Norder, who is a Sports Environment Alliance ambassador.

‘Lang Hancock’s past and what he said in regard to Indigenous people is just not suitable for Australian sport.

‘Netball Australia has always tried to be inclusive … we now have Donnell (Wallam) in the team.

‘This is not a respectful way to act and even if Donnell wasn’t in the team, we must do better.’

Former Diamonds captain Sharni Norder told the current squad that Hancock Prospecting 'is a company that doesn't suit Netball Australia's values'

Former Diamonds captain Sharni Norder told the current squad that Hancock Prospecting ‘is a company that doesn’t suit Netball Australia’s values’

Despite her father’s views, Ms Rinehart has contributed to charitable work in Indigenous communities.

Clinton Wolf, managing director of the National Indigenous Times publication, wrote on Monday that the negativity towards the Netball Australia sponsorship was ‘hypocritical’.

Mr Wolf is a non-executive director of Indigenous children’s charity Madalah.

He said Ms Rinehart had come through with a ‘multi-year, multimillion-dollar funding arrangement’ for the charity after refusal from the Western Australian government.

‘Madalah is proud to say that Mrs Gina Rinehart’s companies are among Madalah’s most important sponsors and supporters,’ he wrote.

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