Updated video material of the infamous encounter between Australian basketball player Liz Cambage and the Nigerian basketball team has been unveiled. The footage emerged just a few days after Cambage was banned from playing for her home country indefinitely.
In a practice match prior to the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, Cambage allegedly made racist comments towards the Nigerian team, referring to them as ‘monkeys’ and suggesting they return to their ‘third world country’. Cambage, however, has vehemently denied these allegations and is reportedly in talks to play for the Nigerian national team – a claim that has been strongly refuted by two of Nigeria’s star players.
The new video shows Cambage getting physically aggressive with Nigerian player Victoria Macaulay and another unnamed opponent. In retaliation, an opponent wearing jersey No.9 strikes Cambage in the face, causing her to fall. Notably, none of Cambage’s teammates come to her defense after the hit.
The Australian team failed to advance beyond the quarter-finals at the Tokyo Olympics, a result attributed to the discord between Cambage and the rest of the team over her alleged racist remarks. Following an investigation, Basketball Australia issued Cambage a formal reprimand.
In response to the new footage, Cambage stated that the video depicts a highly physical game with insufficient officiating, leading to her being “attacked and suffering concussion”. She also expressed her concerns about the playing conditions within the Covid “bubble”.
The racism allegations first arose in 2022, when Jenna O’Hea, former Opals captain, stated that the accusations about Cambage’s use of racially offensive slurs were ‘100% true’.
Cambage responded to her ban from the Australian team by accusing certain teammates and coaches of making racist and ‘inappropriate’ comments towards her. She also challenged the physical training methods and the use of medication and steroids. She stated that these concerns were not adequately addressed by the team management.
Despite the controversy, Cambage expressed interest in representing Nigeria, due to her Nigerian heritage from her father’s side. However, Nigerian basketball player Promise Amukamara dismissed this claim as false, further accusing Cambage of using racist slurs against the team.