WNBA star Liz Cambage allegedly hurled a racial slur toward members of the Nigerian national team before last year’s Tokyo Olympics.
According to a report from The Daily Telegraph, Cambage threw an elbow into the head of a Nigerian player who was guarding her.
A video of the incident was published. However, during a timeout, Cambage got into another Nigerian player, slapping her in the face. As Cambage strolled over to the bench, the Nigerian player she allegedly assaulted ran behind Cambage and punched her with a closed fist. It was during this incident that Cambage allegedly called the players “monkeys.” Cambage also reportedly told them to “go back to their third world countries.”
Last year, Cambage’s sudden exit from the Australian Olympic basketball team raised eyebrows. Fans had no idea what led to the decision; at the time, Cambage cited “panic attacks” as the reason.
“It’s no secret that in the past I’ve struggled with my mental health and recently I’ve been really worried about heading into a ‘bubble’ Olympics,” she tweeted at the time. “No family. No friends. No fans. No support system outside of my team. It’s honestly terrifying for me. The past month I have been having panic attacks, not sleeping and not eating.”
Speaking to the publication, an anonymous player said: “That’s what I recall, the term monkeys, yes. And go back to where you came from. She definitely did use monkeys or monkey.”
Cambage did apologize but another player says she was particularly surprised by the racial slur considering Cambage’s heritage.
“Although she’s Australian, we knew she was half Nigerian. So, before then, it was like she was one of us,” another Nigerian player added. “That was another thing to cut deep, for her to do that and not show any remorse at all.”
Cambage signed with the Sparks earlier this year.