Liz Cambage's father is from Nigeria but called Nigeria's D'Tigress MONKEYS in friendly game
Los Angeles Sparks center Liz Cambage pushed back Sunday against a report from an Australian newspaper that she directeda racial slur toward the Nigerian women's basketball team during a pre-Olympic scrimmage last year in Las Vegas.
Liz Cambage on calling D'Tigress players Monkeys
Cambage, who was playing for the Australian women's national team at the time, wrote Sunday night in a statement posted to Instagram.
"The incident that took place in the pre-Olympic scrimmage with the Nigerian national team was handled privately almost a year ago,
"I am very disappointed and hurt by the events and accusations that have unfolded in the Australian media.
"The account of what took place is inaccurate and misleading. I did not use the racial slur toward the Nigerian team that has been circulating.
"After I unintentionally fouled a Nigerian player on court, I was then physically assaulted by this player on the sideline of my bench.
"I was hit in the face and pushed to the ground, but I walked away. ... We did not have professional referees to manage and prioritize both teams' safety during this highly physical scrimmage.
"This is not an excuse of justification to the events that unfolded or my actions, however, I feel that a full picture of the environment that led to this outcome must be shared.
" I have taken responsibility and accountability for my involvement in what occurred. I genuinely apologized to the Nigerian team and I once again am sorry that these events are being rehashed.
"I truly hope that I can move forward from this incident and apply actionable effort to be my best self."
Nneka Ogwumike said Sunday on a video call that the incident between Cambage and the Nigerian team was discussed by the Sparks' players.
"We're past it. Whatever agenda is happening with it resurfacing, that's other people's business.
"Quite frankly, we talked about it before she came to the team. And, granted, people have their own accounts of what happened.
"But we addressed it. We talked about how important it is for us to be together, be transparent, and also the power of giving people second chances."
Liz Cambage after calling D'Tigress Monkey's wants to play for Nigeria
According to Liz Cambage, she is in discussions to leave the Australian team and compete for Nigeria at the Olympics.
She insists that she did not racially disparage the Nigerian squad during a practice session before to the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Cambage made her thoughts known about the situation in an interview with Taylor Rooks on Bleacher Report.