Basketball Australia asks club to probe offensive photos

Publish date:

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Basketball Australia said it was satisfied with how a Melbourne club is dealing with allegations of racism that surfaced when Liz Cambage identified a national squad teammate on Twitter who had posed for photos with brown paint on her face in an end-of-season celebration.

Australian Opals forward Alice Kunek posted the picture of herself in costume on Instagram on Sunday, and Cambage used Twitter posts to highlight the image, saying she was ''shocked and disturbed to see this behavior from someone I'm meant to call a `teammate.'''

''Blackface is disgusting, I honestly have no words,'' Cambage, a former WNBA center who is now playing in China, posted. ''People wonder why I have issues with some (at)BasketballAus teammates, I've been dealing with these behavior since we were kids.''

Blackface was common in old American minstrel shows featuring white performers as stereotyped black characters.

Kunek deleted the photo and issued an apology saying she hadn't intended it to be offensive.

Basketball Australia chief executive Anthony Moore said Monday that Kunek's club, the Melbourne Boomers, had been asked to investigate and ''we are satisfied that the club has taken this matter seriously and moved swiftly to address this with their player.

''Whilst poor judgment was exercised by Ms. Kunek, we note and accept her sincere remorse.''

In a statement, Moore said the federation and the player association would take ''a leadership position in the education of all basketballers around the country on racial and religious vilification.''

The 24-year-old Cambage is in contention for Australia's 2016 Olympic squad after being sidelined by selectors for a qualifying series because she skipped a training camp to attend a music festival.