Dawn Fraser backs Gina Rinehart and says the players are to blame for the fight between the sponsors.
The Olympic legend has come out in support of Gina Rinehart, saying that she is worried about how her sponsorship fight will affect Australian sports.
Dawn Fraser, an Olympic swimming champion, has come out in support of Gina Rinehart in the wake of the sponsorship scandal that has put Netball Australia on the verge of financial ruin.
Rinehart took $15 million out of Netball Australia's budget on Saturday because players didn't want to wear the logo of her mining company, Hancock Prospecting.
Now, Fraser has spoken out against the players, saying that she can't believe what they are doing. She has also praised Rinehart for giving money to many minor or less popular sports in Australia.
"I'm glad that Mrs. Rinehart and I have worked together. "I really don't know what the netball player who pulled the plug was thinking," Fraser said on 4BC Drive.
"Mrs. G. (Rinehart) has done a lot for not only swimming, but also beach volleyball, women's rowing, and women's synchronized swimming.
"What in the name of God are these women doing?"
Fraser, who has won four gold medals and is one of the most famous athletes in the country, also said that she was worried that Australia's richest person would stop sponsoring sports in the country because of the bad press her mining company has been getting in recent weeks.
"I don't think the players have this story straight, and I don't know the full story either, but I really don't understand it. It's bad for the sport, and it's bad for the girls she turned down," Fraser said.
"She might stop sponsoring other sports now, and to be honest, I'd hate to see that happen."
The main reason the Diamonds players don't want to wear a Hancock Prospecting logo on their jerseys is that the only Indigenous player on the team, Donnell Wallam, is worried about what Rinehart's father, Lang Hancock, said.
In 1984, Hancock said that Indigenous Australians should be sterilized so that they would "breed themselves out" over the next few years.
Fraser said on Tuesday that Rinehart shouldn't have to answer for what her father did wrong.
Fraser said, "She's not her father, and I wouldn't want to be in her place and get criticized because my father did some wrong things."
"She is a tough businesswoman who came from a tough business family.
"She has turned around and is now helping athletes do the best they can.
"Netball Australia has made a big mistake with this attitude. It's so bad for the sport."
Even though a lot of people, like Australian boxing legend Anthony Mundine, have criticized Mrs. Rinehart's actions, some First Nations leaders say that her support for Australia's Indigenous people has been very helpful.
Nyunggai Warren Mundine, the former head of the Indigenous Advisory Council for the Coalition government, told people who were "b**ching" about the fallout to put their money where their mouths were and pay for Netball Australia in other ways.
In response to the two journalists, he wrote on Twitter, "[Lisa Wilkinson] and Peter Ford got a few bucks."
Wilkinson recently made fun of Mrs. Rinehart on air, arguing against what the miner said about how sports and politics can be kept separate.
Mr. Mundine went on, "Give it to Netball Australia."
"In fact, everyone here who is bitching about Gina Rinehart should put their money where their mouth (or Twitter) is.
"With all the complaining going on here, I think you could easily raise more than $15 million. And I can agree with that."
Clinton Wolf, who is the managing director of National Indigenous Times and a non-executive director of Madalah LTD, a non-profit that helps Indigenous children in Western Australia get secondary and tertiary education scholarships, also praised Mrs. Rinehart for what she has done for Indigenous Australians.
He said that Mrs. Rinehart had been quiet over the years and let her actions speak for themselves.
In an opinion piece for the National Indigenous Times, Mr. Wolf talked at length about how important Mrs. Rinehart's money was to Madalah and other Indigenous groups.
"Madalah is always underfunded, in part because the Western Australian Government refuses to give any money," he wrote. "This is ironic, since they have had a record $11 billion budget surplus in the last two years, thanks in large part to the mining industry."
"If the Federal Government hadn't given some money because of decisions made by Nigel Scullion, the former Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs, and Linda Burney, the current Minister for Indigenous Affairs, the future of Madalah and the great services and help it gives would have been at best bleak.
"Because of these problems, the Board of Madalah did something that had never been done before and was absolutely necessary: it asked WA Industry for ongoing funding in a last-ditch effort to get as many Indigenous scholarships as possible for future students.
"The Madalah Board's decision turned out to be the right one, because when it comes to helping Indigenous education in Western Australia, Industry has stepped up to fill the growing funding gap."
Mr. Wolf said that Rinehart's Roy Hill Community Foundation made the Hanrine Futures Program and asked Madalah to help them get scholarships by working together.
"The Roy Hill Community Foundation quickly agreed to a multi-year, multimillion-dollar funding plan to give many Indigenous kids the chance they so desperately needed," he said.
"The Hancock Group of companies will pay for the Roy Hill Community Foundation's Hanrine Futures Program, which will give long-term scholarships, training, work experience, and internships that lead to jobs."
"Did Madalah worry about joining forces with Mrs. Rinehart and her businesses? "No way, no how."
"Madalah is proud to say that Mrs. Gina Rinehart's businesses are some of its biggest sponsors and backers."
Mr. Wolf was upset that Gina Rinehart was linked to what her late father, Lang Hancock, had said about Indigenous people in the past.
"Since when do we judge someone based on who or what their parents are or were? Mr Wolf said.
"What people think about someone is often the complete opposite of who they really are.
"Mrs. Rinehart is a kind and generous person who really cares about Madalah and its Indigenous students, according to Madalah.
"Mrs. Rinehart should be praised for her generous support of Netball Australia, Madalah, and a number of other worthy causes that need money badly. She does this without making a big deal about it.
"Even though people have criticized her from the sidelines, she has a good heart and does good things. Actions speak louder than words every time."
Another Indigenous leader who supported Ms. Rinehart's decision was Indigenous Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, who called Netball Australia's response "completely ridiculous."
She told Sky News on Monday night, "It's ridiculous that people think it's okay to judge people based on what their mother, father, uncle, aunty, or someone else in their family did."
"If that were true, we would all look down on a lot of people, including Indigenous people, because of what someone else did or how they behaved.
"It's completely crazy that this ever happened."
Mr. Price said that what Ms. Rinehart had done for Indigenous Australians "deserved respect."
Gina has helped Indigenous Australians in a lot of different ways, and she has been very generous because she cares about their well-being, said the woman.
"To turn around and say, 'Wait a minute, I don't want to wear that because I'm choosing to be upset about something someone else said about me...'... "That's crazy."
Ms. Price didn't hold back when she talked about Netball Australia.
She said on Facebook, "Unless you have a few million dollars in your back pocket to support your sport, your woke sense of self-importance should be your private opinion and your private opinion only."