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Report: WNBA Star Cambage Directed Racial Slur at Nigerian Players

Sports Illustrated logo Sports Illustrated 5/29/2022 Jelani Scott
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The Australian center was involved in an incident during a scrimmage with Nigeria prior to her withdrawal from the Tokyo Olympics.

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WNBA star Liz Cambage reportedly directed a racial slur at Nigerian national team players during a scrimmage prior to the 2021 Summer Olympics, according to an investigation by The Daily Telegraph. 

The report includes details of a stunning video showing the Australian center incite a brawl after elbowing an opponent in the head and slapping another player in a closed-door scrimmage against Nigeria prior to last summer’s Olympics. Anonymous Nigerian players interviewed by The Daily Telegraph claim Cambage, 30, called the Nigerian players “monkeys” and told them to “go back to your third world country” during the ensuing chaos.

Cambage’s outburst led to the end of practice after Australian officials called the game off before the end of the second quarter. The Daily Telegraph reported Cambage, whose father is Nigerian, apologized to the Nigerian team a day later but it “wasn’t well received by every player.”

Cambage would eventually withdraw from the Tokyo Olympics ahead of its July 23 start date. At the time, Cambage said the reason for the decision was to “take care of myself mentally and physically.” Her withdrawal also came around the same time ESPN reported the Opals were evaluating her future with program following an incident with Nigeria, though the details were not given.

Cambage is currently in her first season with the Sparks following a two-year run with the Aces.

More WNBA Coverage:

The Rise of the Aging Rookie: Meet the WNBA’s Veteran DebutantsHow Russia Pushed the WNBA to a CrossroadsFrom Istanbul to Dallas, Inside the Quick Turnaround for WNBA Players Returning From Abroad

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