Home / World News / Star import Tiffany Mitchell lashes Basketball Australia ‘discrimination’

Star import Tiffany Mitchell lashes Basketball Australia ‘discrimination’

Melbourne star import Tiffany Mitchell has slammed the “clear racial discrimination” she says she experienced playing basketball in Australia, after being told she needed to tie her hair up in a bun to play.

Mitchell, a former WNBA shooting guard and USA international, signed to play for the Boomers this season after finding Melbourne was like a “home away from home”.

But since she arrived Down Under, Mitchell said it was clear Basketball Australia were “ignorant” over an outdated rule that stated players with “free braids” needed their hair tied up in a bid to prevent “injury” to other players, or they were unable to take the court.

Mitchell said “it was clear only the black people in their league” wore the type of braids the rule referred to, and admitted she felt anger over the ordeal.

Tiffany Mitchell and her teammates took a knee to send a message to Basketball Australia.
Camera IconTiffany Mitchell and her teammates took a knee to send a message to Basketball Australia. Credit: Instagram

“I’ve played all around the world, in every top league at the highest level and my braids has never been an issue,” Mitchell posted on social media.

“When I approached Basketball Australia with the discomfort it caused me reading and hearing about this email they stood on the fact that it was a FIBA rule they were told to enforce it.

“The target I felt I had on my back was indescribable but (I) still played with all the disappoint I felt from Basketball Australia.”

Basketball Australia has since issued a statement, confirming the rule has now been removed.

“The policy has been deemed discriminatory and inconsistent with Basketball Australia’s Diversity and Inclusion framework by the WNBL Commission,” a spokesperson said.

Tiffany Mitchell has taken to social media to condmen a Basketball Australia policy.
Camera IconTiffany Mitchell has taken to social media to condmen a Basketball Australia policy. Credit: Instagram

Mitchell said while she was thankful for the support she received from her teammates throughout the ordeal, she was disappointed the rule stood to begin with.

“I am completely thankful for my club as they stood behind my teammates and myself that had braids and they were very supportive,” she posted.

“(The ordeal) goes to show we have a long way to go for equality all over the world. Unfortunate it had to be for these conversations to happen but happy that Basketball Australia is held accountable and become aware of the ignorance that was displayed in this situation.”

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