OPALS ASK AUSTRALIA TO “RISE UP” IN SUPPORT OF BLACK LIVES MATTER

OPALS ASK AUSTRALIA TO “RISE UP” IN SUPPORT OF BLACK LIVES MATTER

It Is Time, Time For Change. Basketball Australia and the Australian women’s national team, the Opals, are asking the basketball community and community at large to RISE UP in support of Black Lives Matter.

The Opals are asking all Australians to RISE UP with them in taking positive action to eradicate racism, discrimination, and injustice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and people of colour, by embracing the Opals’ team values of Respect, Injustice, Standards, Equality, Unity, Peace.

RESPECT – The world can never be a better place until we show respect for ALL people regardless of the colour of their skin, sexuality, religion, and culture.

INJUSTICE – Social injustice and systemic racism is WRONG. We need to educate ourselves more on black history and other minorities. We need to listen, walk in other shoes, sacrifice and support change. Sport brings us together regardless of our background - so we need to help make the change. Let us take action to help make the world a better place.

STANDARDS – Empathy, compassion, kindness, understanding, support, and love is always the better solution than hatred, violence, ignorance, and arrogance. We expect this of ourselves, family, and friends but now we need to go one step further and speak out against racism whenever we see it happen in front of us.

EQUALITY – The only way forward is with Equality. We all deserve the best of what this life can give us and being able to be who we were meant to be. Treat people how you would want to be treated and choose LOVE over HATE always.

UNITY – Just as we are a TEAM on the court, we are a TEAM off of it. There is more love, adaptability when we come together and work together to make change. Let us use our platform to make the change so that Black Lives Matter.

PEACE – Respect, justice, standards, equality, and unity will all lead to PEACE and PROSPERITY for all!  However many obstacles we will face and regardless of how slow the change will be, stay the course and let us do our part to change the World!

For decades, Australian basketball – from grassroots to the elite level – has been enriched by people of colour, and Basketball Australia is joining with the Opals in wanting to build a more tolerant and just society through this RISE UP campaign.

“The extremely important Black Lives Matter movement has made it abundantly clear that as a global community we must work harder to bring an end to racism, discrimination and injustice,” said Basketball Australia CEO Jerril Rechter AM.

“Basketball Australia is committed to using our position and platform to engage, listen, speak out, and be a vehicle for change on racial equality.

“We are extremely proud of the Australian Opals in wanting to come together and lend their voice and influence to not only support Black Lives Matters but drive positive change through their RISE UP campaign,” concluded Rechter.

Currently ranked number two in the latest FIBA World Rankings, the Australian Opals have consistently been one of the country’s most successful sporting teams over recent decades.

The Opals’ playing group, based around the world, have come together in stating that it is time to make a difference and that Black Lives Matter.

“The Australian Opals’ playing group are asking all Australians to RISE UP and stand with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and people of colour to make a change,” said Australian Opals captain Jenna O’Hea.

“Racism, discrimination and injustice experienced by black communities is not an American problem, it is a worldwide issue including here in Australia.

“It is important that everyone learns and educates themselves on these matters because learning about racism is much easier than living and experiencing it on a daily basis.

“The Australian Opals are asking everyone to embrace our RISE UP team values of Respect, Injustice, Standards, Equality, Unity and Peace as we work together to eradicate racism, discrimination, and injustice both here at home and abroad,” concluded O’Hea.

The Australian Opals RISE UP initiative will be rolled out by Basketball Australia over the coming months, starting with an impactful social and digital media campaign.