Basketball in Australia is a sport for all, bringing together people of any race, religion, nationality, gender, sexual orientation and ability under the shared values of respect, teamwork, trust and understanding.
For decades, Australian basketball – from grassroots to the elite level – has been enriched by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and people of colour.
Recent events in the United States makes it clear that as a global family we must work harder to eradicate racism, discrimination and injustice.
These issues are significant in Australia too. In 1991 there was a Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. Since then, a further 437 deaths in custody of Aboriginal people have occurred. Not a single person has been held responsible for any of these deaths.
Basketball Australia is committed to eliminating racism and discrimination in all its forms and acknowledges we all have a role in building a more tolerant and just society.
Under the leadership of our Co-Chairs, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members Paul Vandenbergh and Cilla Preece we have developed a Reconciliation Action Plan which is now with Reconciliation Australia. We have also commenced the development of a Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, which highlights cultural diversity as a key pillar of our framework.
This is important work and it takes time. It requires difficult conversations and it must be supported by action.
We stand side by side in solidarity with black communities, here at home and around the world, in proclaiming that Black Lives Matter.