Netball Australia targeted by cruel trolls after Gina Rinehart fallout
Released: 6:36 PM EDT, Oct. 23, 2022 | Updated: 7:51 p.m. EDT, Oct. 23, 2022
Netball Australia players have been widely ridiculed for not keeping Gina Rinehart’s sponsorship – some even suggesting they should rent out the Bunnings hatcheries to make up some of the $15m in lost sponsorship.
The sporting body was forced to look for a new sponsor after Ms Rinehart’s mining company Hancock Prospecting pulled the plug on Saturday after players raised concerns about comments their father made about Aboriginal people 38 years ago.
CEO Kelly Ryan admitted she has “reasonable concerns” about the sport’s financial stability as netball teams face an uncertain future.
Netball Australia now faces the possibility of more sponsors withdrawing, with financial losses potentially escalating to as much as $25 million.
Netball Australia has been targeted by cruel trolls who suggested they host a bratwurst sizzle there to make up for lost money after Gina Rinehart ripped up her $15m sponsorship deal
The sports body had to look for a new sponsor after Ms Rinehart’s mining company Hancock Prospecting pulled the plug on Saturday
Trolls have taken the situation lightly and poked fun at Netball Australia by suggesting a return to grassroots fundraising
“It could potentially turn into a $25 million problem in the near future,” a netball source told The Australian.
The sporting body is already $4million in the red, with Ms Ryan admitting she may need to consider drastic cost-cutting measures.
“Financially it puts the sport back in a really vulnerable position,” Ms Ryan said.
“We have done a lot of work to put ourselves in a more stable position. This money (from Hancock Prospecting) should help us accelerate our sport and not just correct what’s out of whack.
“(It) should help us move forward and now we’re back and literally going through the budget as we speak.”
Trolls have taken the situation lightly and poked fun at Netball Australia by suggesting a return to grassroots fundraising.
‘Yes. Simple as that. Back to sizzling sausages and meat bowl raffles for Netball Australia,” one social media user wrote on Twitter.
“Netball Australia, how many bratwurst and cake stands does it take to make $15 million?” added another.
A third said: “The ‘to do’ list for Netball Australia tomorrow: finalize the sausage sizzle and cupcake stall lists for the girls.
“Organize who washes the uniforms. There are countless young women and girls across Australia today whose sporting future has been destroyed.”
Gina Rinehart has accused Netball Australia of signaling virtue after its players questioned their sponsorship deal over offensive comments made by their late father
Wallam is at the center of the dispute between Netball Australia and Gina Rinehart after he asked for an exception to wear the Hancock Prospecting logo on the Diamonds shirt
Wallam during Sunday’s Constellation Cup game between the New Zealand Silver Ferns
Who is Netball’s Donnell Wallam?
Donnell Wallam is the third Indigenous netball player to represent Australia.
Wallam is a proud Noongar woman from Korijekup (Harvey) in South West Western Australia.
She started her career abroad after securing a two-year deal with All Leeds Rhinos in the UK Netball Superleague.
Wallam later returned to Australia where she was signed to play for the Queensland Firebirds.
She made her debut with the Diamonds national netball team last week.
Her debut was marred by revelations that she asked not to wear the logo of Gina Rinehart’s mining company, Hancock Prospecting.
Several social media users have sided with Ms Rinehart’s decision to pull the plug.
“Diamonds better start selling bratwurst to make up the shortfall. This is what you get for biting the hand that feeds you,” one wrote.
Ms Rinehart walked out of the multi-million deal after the Diamonds national team raised concerns about offensive comments made by her late father in 1984.
The $15 million deal should be a lifeline for Netball Australia, which has lost $7 million over the past two years as Super Netball costs soared.
Ms Rinehart accused Netball Australia of “virtue signaling” and argued that sport should not be used for political purposes.
Ms Ryan admitted she was “quite concerned” by Ms Rinehart’s decision to withdraw from sponsorship.
“We are rightly concerned, but at the same time we have been incredibly transparent with the financial condition of our sport throughout the year,” she told Nine’s Today on Sunday.
Indigenous player Donnell Wallam had reportedly requested an exception to wearing the sponsor’s logo on the team jersey, with her teammates supporting her decision
The Netball Australia chief executive has admitted she is “concerned” about the future of the sport after Gina Rinehart ripped up her $15m sponsorship deal
The offensive comment that triggered the Netball Australia fallout
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.
“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.”
“We are certainly very aware of where our sport has been positioned. We’ve done a lot of work throughout the year to ensure we can properly size this ship.
“It is very disappointing to lose this funding which should really help us move faster and put us in a much stronger position.
“Even so, I’m still incredibly confident that we have the right plans in place to get the sport where it belongs.”