Australia’s netballers have turned heads after refusing to wear a game day uniform sponsored by mining magnate Gina Rinehart.
The nation’s richest woman won’t formally acknowledge climate change – and the Diamonds have collectively responded ahead of their second Constellation Cup match versus New Zealand.
It comes despite Rinehart’s company – Hancock Prospecting – sponsoring Stacey Marinkovich’s squad to the tune of $15 million until the end of 2025.
The multi-year commitment didn’t stop the defiant Diamonds wearing an old strip in their series opening defeat on Wednesday.
With game two on Sunday in, it remains to be seen if Rinehart’s business – which she inherited from her late father Lang Hancock – will feature on the iconic green and gold kit when the Diamonds grace the court.
Former captain Sharni Layton believes Rinehart’s company doesn’t align with the values of the Diamonds’ players.
‘This is a company (Hancock Prospecting) that doesn’t suit Netball Australia’s values,’ Layton reportedly told the current playing group.
‘We’ve always stood up for social justice, we’ve always been anti-gambling, no smoking.
‘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 …and we now have Donnell (Wallam) in the team.
‘This is not a respectful way to act and even if (Indigenous star) Donnell wasn’t in the team, we must do better.
‘I did a zoom with the players just to educate them on doing right by the sport – but also honouring their own values.’
Layton also asked the current crop of Diamonds if ‘money was more important than personal reputation’ before stressing the importance of ‘making good decisions for themselves.’
Marinkovich believes her team need to adjust to the physical approach of the Kiwis.
‘We haven’t played New Zealand in a while. Adapting to their defence, we can certainly rectify that,’ she said.
‘We really do trust our game plan. We’re not changing a huge amount. We just need to adapt and shift with what’s in front of us.’
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