- Aussie netball greats Jill McIntosh & Joyce Brown not on the same page
- Netball Australia is struggling after losing $15million sponsorship
- Diamonds players only attended after being threatened legally
Netball Australia has plunged into further crisis, with two greats of the sport engaging in a war of words surrounding the player protests from last Saturday’s awards night in Melbourne.
Hall of Fame Legend Jill McIntosh described the Diamonds’ industrial move as ’embarrassing’, which was in stark contrast to former coach Joyce Brown, who labelled NA’s actions ‘an unbelievable disgrace’.
It comes after many Super Netball players skipped the event due to an ongoing pay dispute and national squad players only attended following a threat of legal action from the governing body.
‘I thought it was disappointing for everyone concerned. It wasn’t the forum for the players to be putting forward their grievances. It’s embarrassing for netball,’ McIntosh, a playing and coaching great from the 1970s to early 2000s, told Code Sports.
‘I thought everyone should have put aside their differences.’
Netball Australia has plunged into further crisis, with two greats of the sport – including Jill McIntosh (pictured left) engaging in a war of words surrounding player protests from last Saturday’s awards night
Fellow great Joyce Brown disagreed with Jill McIntosh, instead labelling Netball Australia a ‘disgrace’ for threatening legal action against the Diamonds
Liz Ellis, another Aussie netball great, expressed her disappointment earlier this week that Diamonds players were forced to attend the ceremony under threat of legal action
Brown disagreed, pointing out the players make the sport.
‘I’m gobsmacked. How do you take legal action against the players? she said.
‘I think the performance of the CEO [Kelly Ryan] and the chairperson and her board should be evaluated…they [Netball Australia] have fractured the whole fabric of the sport.’
The sport is in disarray after mining magnate Gina Rinehart pulled her $15million sponsorship from the Diamonds in October last year.
At the time, the team expressed concerns over comments uttered about First Nations people by Ms Rinehart’s late father Lang Hancock in the 1980s.
Indigenous player Donnell Wallam was reportedly uncomfortable wearing the uniform with the Hancock Prospecting logo.
Meanwhile, Liz Ellis, another Aussie netball great, expressed her disappointment earlier this week that Diamonds’ players were forced to attend the ceremony for the award named in her honour.
‘My disappointment and embarrassment at not being able to attend turned into anger when I was made aware that current Diamonds players and their advisers were threatened with possible legal action if they did not attend the dinner,’ Ellis said on Monday.
The sport has been in disarray from the moment mining magnate Gina Rinehart pulled her $15million sponsorship from the Diamonds in October last year
Donnell Wallam (pictured right) was reportedly uncomfortable wearing the uniform with the Hancock Prospecting logo following comments made by Rinehart’s father in the 1980s
Netball Australia reportedly threatened legal action against stars if they boycotted the awards last Saturday – with members of the Diamonds national team contractually obligated to attend
Courtney Bruce (pictured) was the big winner on the night, taking home the Liz Ellis Diamond award for the second time and also being named international player of the year
‘As a former Diamonds captain, I can not believe that the governing body of the sport I love would treat its Diamonds athletes, who are brilliant role models and ambassadors for netball, with such callous disregard.’
Ellis also went onto question the leadership at Netball Australia.
‘So, yet again, netball finds itself in the headlines for the wrong reasons — another crisis entirely of the sport’s own making,’ she said.
‘These women [Super netball players] have not been paid in eight weeks. They are fighting for fair pay and conditions not only for themselves but for the players who come after them.
‘Questions must be asked…and we need an immediate answer.’