Olympic champion Dawn Fraser has backed Gina Rinehart in the Netball Australia sponsorship saga following the mining mogul’s decision to pull $15 million in funding.
Rineharts decision to withdraw from the sponsorship deal was in response to some of the Diamonds’ players refusal to wear a uniform that featured branding from the billionaire’s company Hancock Prospecting, in relation to controversial comments made by Rinehart’s father, Lang Hancock, in the ’80s.
Speaking on 4BC radio, Fraser condemned the Diamonds’ actions, saying it isn’t fair to lash out at the mining heiress for the sins of her father.
“She’s not her father, I’d hate to be in her position and being slammed over the fact that my father did some things wrong,” the four-time gold medalist said.
“She’s a hard business woman, she’s been brought up in a hard business family.
“She’s now gone the other way and she’s helping people in sport to achieve to the best of their ability.
“Netball Australia has really gone wrong on this attitude I just think it’s so bad for the sport.”
Fraser said she was concerned about what consequences the netballer’s actions might have on women in sport, considering the work Rinehart has done for the sporting world.
“I appreciate the fact that I’ve been associated with Mrs Rinehart. I really can’t understand the netballer that pulled the plug,” Fraser said.
“Mrs G (Rinehart) has done a hell of a lot for not only swimming, but she’s looked after beach volleyball, she’s looked after women’s rowing and women’s synchronised swimming.
”I mean heavens above – what are these women doing.
“I don’t think (the players have this story straight) and I don’t know the full story either, but I really cannot understand it, it’s bad for the sport, it’s bad for those girls she said no to.
“She might stop her sponsorship with other sports now and I’d hate to see that happen to be honest with you.”
Despite Fraser’s support for Rinehart, the public holds a different view and has condemned Australia’s richest woman for withholding the money.
Why doesn’t the Gina Rinehart just give the money to Netball and then leave them alone? Why does the woman want a kickback? Philanthropy is not a monetary yo-yo.
— Christopher Ryan (@ChristoSir) October 20, 2022
Someone suggested Gina Rinehart owes nothing to anybody. On the contrary, I believe Gina owes and all billionaires owe everything to everybody. It is a disgrace that her net worth is $26.1 billion.
— David Griffiths (@DavidGr07837209) October 25, 2022
#GoWokeGoBroke? Nah, good on the Diamonds- If Gina Rinehart and her ilk were fair dinkum about helping Australian sports people and teams they wouldn’t have campaigned against the mining tax etc but they prefer to be able to use Australian sport as their little play things pic.twitter.com/QqHuFeMnkV
— Travis (@teakingw) October 22, 2022
Hancock Prospecting released a statement on October 22, condemning the use of sporting organisations to be used for social and political causes.