An emotional Andrew Gaze has blasted Liz Cambage over claims she wasn’t “supported” by Australian basketball amid the furore over her just lately revealed pre-Olympics slur.
Cambage reportedly instructed a Nigerian opponent to “go back to your third world country”, inflicting a brawl which then noticed her withdraw from the Australian crew. She isn’t anticipated to play for her nation once more.
Speaking on Melbourne radio station SEN, Australian basketball legend Gaze backed up Andrew Bogut’s declare the slur was even worse than reported and “beyond despicable”.
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“There are other versions that were far more offensive … my understanding is there’s even more to it that’s even more disgusting that was actually said,” he mentioned.
Gaze argued strongly towards Cambage’s claims she was not supported by Basketball Australia or the Opals.
“I’m living my best life, I’m supported and protected on a level that the Opals and Australian team never gave to me,” she instructed the ABC.
“My heart lies with those who want to protect me and those who want me to be the best I can be.
“I never felt that in the Opals at all.”
Gaze known as that declare “highly offensive” given the efforts he and the Australian basketball group put in to assist Cambage.
“I have been in a privileged position to be on the board of Basketball Australia during much of her time and I had a long conversation with her directly. And unfortunately, I couldn’t have that conversation just one-on-one, her agent had to be there,” he defined.
“And we went through some of the issues that were clearly apparent issues about where your priorities need to be. And there was a complete lack of understanding that well, maybe I’m not wrong, but I can see another side of the argument. Refused to see that her behaviour was not there.
“I don’t think it’s appropriate to say (what that behaviour was). I couldn’t even have that conversation with her personally. It was had to be (with her agent) – right there is an element of trust.”
Gaze additionally defined “there was some behaviour that Liz had, under any reasonable judgment, that there would have been some significant repercussions that were there. And she was supported not just by me but by others along the way.
“A lot is documented. And to say she wasn’t supported is unfair. It is grossly unfair.
“And you know, I have great sympathy and compassion for where she was at that point in time, and there may have been some confusion about where I need to be, her schedule, her timetable, all those things.
“But the bottom line is she made some decisions that didn’t support her teammates. Yet despite that, her teammates supported her during that time.
“The problem is, in her mind, she didn’t think she was letting anyone down.”
Former Opals captain Jenna O’Hea instructed ABC’s Offsiders on the weekend she may “hold my head up high and say I always loved her, always cared for her, supported her, had her back.
“That is her reality and the listeners can believe what they want to believe.
Gaze continued: “That (claim she wasn’t supported) is offensive. That is offensive to people going out of their way to try and put in place a system where she can actually perform at her best.
“And it takes two. You don’t get paid for representing your country – or very little. That’s not your sole source of income.
“It’s about honour. It’s about privilege. It’s about a sense of responsibility. It’s about looking at your life and seeing how other people have provided you a privileged opportunity to perform to the highest level and when you don’t respect that – and in fact, you go the other way and say these people have actually harmed me?
“That is disgusting behaviour by her. And it’s offensive to me. It’s offensive to anyone that’s represented our country that that’s her position.”