Another open letter to Netball Australia.

Dear Netball Australia,

It’s time to listen to your players.

It’s time to end your sponsorship agreement with Hancock Prospecting.

In the words of former Diamond, Bianca Chatfield,

“For anyone who is concerned about the environment, there’s issues there, and that the players just wanted to be able to have some kind of understanding first and awareness before they were told that they had to wear that logo (Hancock Prospecting) on their dress. The playing group just weren’t aware of it and all of a sudden they’re told that this logo goes on their dress.”

Former skipper Sharni Norder asked the current Diamonds:

“…is that (sponsorship) money worth your reputation and what you stand for as a person?”

The same question could be asked of Netball Australia, the organisation which oversees one of the largest participation sports in Australia.

Norder also tweeted that it was “unacceptable to put our brand alongside an open climate denier” and that Hancock’s “profit at all cost attitude puts our future in danger”.

According to Greenpeace:

Fossil fuel companies are wrecking our climate

Fossil fuel companies are spending to lock-in climate pollution

Fossil fuel companies cause deadly air pollution

Fossil fuel companies cause water pollution

Fossil fuel companies perpetuate environmental injustice

Fossil fuel companies don’t treat workers fairly

Fossil fuel companies have misled the public about the climate threat

Fossil fuel companies are attacking solutions, while raking in tax breaks

Australia has the highest per capita carbon footprint of any nation on earth. Australia is also a sports mad nation and companies such as Hancock Prospecting understand full well the power of sports washing. It is up to organisations like Netball Australia to stop allowing corporations to exploit Aussie culture to protect their brand and continue to destroy the planet.

Furthermore, this follows an earlier sponsorship deal with another fossil fuel company, Origin Energy. This begs the question:

Can the Diamonds win netball games without destroying the planet?

It is possible to cut ties with unethical corporations. Tennis Australia ended its partnership with Santos, and still manages to host the Australian Open, one of only four majors. Yes, sport is a business. Yes, sporting organisations need money. I’m asking that you source that money from elsewhere, and not from Santos. In doing so, you will be listening to many Australians.

Many Australians want to end dependence on fossil fuels. Many Australians want a transition to renewable energy. Many Australians want clean air, clean water, stable weather and a future for their children. And many of these people watch and play netball.

Yours Sincerely,

Kieran Blake

Image: Netball Australia

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