Basketball Australia, Opals ask community to support Black Lives Matter

Basketball Australia (BA) and the women’s national team, the Opals, have launched a campaign to target racism and discrimination.

The RISE UP campaign stands for Respect, Injustice, Standards, Equality, Unity, Peace, with BA and the Opals asking Australians to take action to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and people of colour.

Last month the Opals announced they would not train until BA agreed to commit to eliminating racial injustice within the sport.

“The Australian Opals’ playing group are asking all Australians to RISE UP and stand with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and people of colour to make a change,” said Opals captain Jenna O’Hea.

“Racism, discrimination and injustice experienced by black communities is not an American problem, it is a worldwide issue including here in Australia.

“It is important that everyone learns and educates themselves on these matters because learning about racism is much easier than living and experiencing it on a daily basis.

“The Australian Opals are asking everyone to embrace our RISE UP team values of Respect, Injustice, Standards, Equality, Unity and Peace as we work together to eradicate racism, discrimination, and injustice both here at home and abroad.”

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BA chief executive Jerril Rechter said basketball wanted to help build a more tolerant society.

“The extremely important Black Lives Matter movement has made it abundantly clear that as a global community we must work harder to bring an end to racism, discrimination and injustice,” he said.

“Basketball Australia is committed to using our position and platform to engage, listen, speak out, and be a vehicle for change on racial equality.

“We are extremely proud of the Australian Opals in wanting to come together and lend their voice and influence to not only support Black Lives Matters but drive positive change through their RISE UP campaign.”