Gina Rinehart pulls $15 million in sponsorship from Diamonds after netball team raises concerns
Gina Rinehart has withdrawn her $15 million sponsorship from the Diamonds after the national netball team raised concerns about the deal.
Its mining company, Hancock Prospecting, released a statement on Saturday revealing it was withdrawing its support for the Australian team.
The move comes after the team raised concerns about the mining company’s environmental impact and comments about Aboriginal people made by Ms Rinehart’s father Lang Hancock in the 1980s.
Indigenous player Donnell Wallam reportedly felt uncomfortable wearing the Hancock Prospecting logo uniform.
“Contrary to media reports, Hancock Prospecting has not insisted on his name being borne by the Australian Diamonds in the current Constellation Cup series overseas,” Hancock Prospecting said.
Gina Rinehart has withdrawn her $15 million sponsorship from the Diamonds after the national netball team raised concerns about the deal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 Australia’s netball team, the Diamonds
‘Hancock and Roy Hill do not wish to add to netball’s disagreement problems and accordingly Hancock has informed the governing body that it is withdrawing from its proposed partnership with immediate effect.’
The partnership between Hancock Prospecting and Netball Australia is expected to be worth $3.5 million annually by the end of 2025.
The company has agreed to provide short-term funding for the team until another sponsorship can be secured.
“Hancock and Roy Hill have advised Netball Australia and Netball WA, respectively, that they will instead provide a four-month sponsorship should they and their players wish to accept it, to continue funding the athletes and to assist Netball in arranging alternative funding and sponsorships” , the company announced.
In a 1984 television interview, Mr Hancock made a shocking statement about Indigenous Australians.
“Those who don’t do themselves any good and can’t accept things, the half-breeds — and here comes the biggest trouble,” Hancock said in the 1984 documentary Couldn’t Be Fairer.
Gina Rinehart (right) is pictured with her father, Lang Hancock, who founded Hancock Prospecting. His comments from a 1984 interview angered members of the Diamonds team
“I would dose the water high enough that they would be sterile and self-replicating in the future and that would solve the problem.”
Mr Hancock died in 1992 aged 82 and said Indigenous Australians who had been “assimilated” should be left alone.
“Those who have been assimilated, you know, earn a living or earn wages in the civilized areas,” he said.
“Those who have been accepted into society and who have accepted society and can deal with society, I would leave them alone.”
Former Diamonds captain Sharni Norder told the current squad that Hancock Prospecting “is a company that doesn’t fit with Netball Australia’s values”.
Ms Rinehart previously said climate change is not a man-made phenomenon.
“We’ve always been committed to social justice, we’ve always been anti-gambling, anti-smokers… and there have been and still are other ways to find sponsors,” said Ms. Norder, ambassador for the Sports Environment Alliance.
There’s more to come