[ad_1]

Lisa Wilkinson takes a subtle swipe at Gina Rinehart as mining magnate pulls the plug on $15million Netball Australia deal: ‘Really naive’

  • Lisa Wilkinson slammed Gina Rinehart after saying sports and politics don’t mix
  • Project co-host swooped in to defend Netball Australia amid its latest drama
  • Ms Rinehart made comment as she withdrew $15million sponsorship deal 

Lisa Wilkinson has taken a subtle swipe at mining magnate Gina Rinehart after the billionaire tore up her company’s $15million sponsorship deal with Netball Australia.

The Project co-host on Sunday evening she found it ‘really naive’ to believe that sports stars should not be allowed to take a political stance.

Her comments followed the billionaire hitting out at ‘virtue signalling’ sports stars after the Diamonds national squad raised concerns about being sponsored by Hancock Prospecting because of comments Mrs Rinehart’s dad made about Aboriginal Australians 38 years ago.

In response to the controversy, Wilkinson told The Project on Sunday night: ‘The idea that sport and politics and issues of social justice can be completely separated is really naive.’

Ms Rinehart made the remark after the Diamonds national team expressed concerns about the mining magnate's sponsorship following offensive comments made by her father about Aboriginal Australians 38 years ago

Ms Rinehart made the remark after the Diamonds national team expressed concerns about the mining magnate’s sponsorship following offensive comments made by her father about Aboriginal Australians 38 years ago

Diamonds player Donnell Wallam had requested not to wear the Hancock Prospecting logo – and gained the support of her teammates.

Mrs Rinehart pulled the plug on Saturday, with her company issuing a statement saying: ‘Hancock and its executive chairman Mrs Rinehart consider that it is unnecessary for sports organisations to be used as the vehicle for social or political causes.’ 

‘Firstly, because sport is at its best when it is focused on good and fair competition, with dedicated athletes striving for excellence to achieve their sporting dreams and to represent our country at their very best.’

‘Secondly, because there are more targeted and genuine ways to progress social or political causes without virtue signalling or for self-publicity.’  

Wilkinson recalled several moments in history where sports players had taken a stand.

‘You think back to the Australian teams that wouldn’t tour South Africa during the apartheid era,’ she said.

‘You even think about things like big tobacco used to sponsor the NRL. It was called the Winfield Cup.’  

Co-host Hamish Macdonald joined in comparing it to the Sea Eagles players who refused to wear the rainbow pride jersey.

Essendon AFL club was also thrown into disarray recently when chief executive Andrew Thorburn resigned over his connection to a Christian church that compared abortion to concentration camps.

See also  Hunter Biden flashes his veneers during Malibu shopping trip with wife Melissa wanted Nicola Peltz

‘In each of those circumstances it seems like the club or the code hasn’t quite done enough thinking about the culture within the organisation or the sport and had the conversations that might be necessary to make those things possible,’ Macdonald said.

Netball Australia is now facing the possibility of having more sponsors pulling out with its financial losses possibly ballooning to as much as $25million

Netball Australia is now facing the possibility of having more sponsors pulling out with its financial losses possibly ballooning to as much as $25million

Netball Australia has been left searching for a new sponsor in the wake of Hancock Prospecting’s move. 

CEO Kelly Ryan admitted she had ‘reasonable concerns’ for the financial stability of the sport.

Netball Australia is now facing the possibility of further sponsors pulling out with its financial losses possibly ballooning to as much as $25million. 

‘It could potentially turn into a $25m problem in the near future,’ a netball source told The Australian

The sports organisation is already $4million in the red with Ms Ryan admitting she may have to consider drastic measures to cut costs.

Teammate Donnell Wallam then requested to not wear the logo of the mining magnate's company Hancock Prospecting

Teammate Donnell Wallam then requested to not wear the logo of the mining magnate’s company Hancock Prospecting

‘Financially it puts the sport in a really compromised position again,’ Ms Ryan said. 

‘We have done a power of work to get us into a more stable position. This money (from Hancock Prospecting) was going to help us accelerate our sport ­not only correct what has been out of balance.

‘(It) was going to help us get ahead and now we’re back, literally looking through the budget as we speak.’ 

‘You know, obviously the points made here, why didn’t they have a conversation about discussing what had been said in the past?

See also  The Voice referendum: Anthony Albanese chokes up as he reveals wording of question

‘And dealing with that up front. I mean, you can understand how for an Indigenous player it would be very difficult to wear a logo like that.’

The offensive comment that sparked Netball Australia fallout 

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.’

 

Advertisement

[ad_2]

Source link