Olympics-Basketballer Cambage says 'I'm in' for Tokyo after race furore
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Basketballer Liz Cambage has confirmed she will play at the Tokyo Games, backtracking on a threat to boycott the showpiece over a lack of racial diversity in Australia's Olympic photo-shoots.
Cambage, who was born to a Nigerian father, took umbrage with pictures of Australia's Olympic athletes on social media last week, saying people of colour had been marginalised and she would "sit this one out" until the situation changed.
But in an expletive-laden series of video clips on her Instagram account, Cambage said she was in for her third Olympics after London and Rio.
"For everyone wondering so desperately what my decision is for the Opals, I’m in, baby ... I’m in," the United States-based 29-year-old said.
"I’m going to play with my sisters that I’ve been playing with since I was a wee little thing and I’m going to ball out for all those young brown kids back in Australia watching me, baby. I’m going to do it for you."
Cambage's criticism embarrassed the Australian Olympic Committee, which defended its record on diversity while acknowledging she had a "point" in relation to the athletes supplied for one photo-shoot for an underwear sponsor.
Cambage was also publicly upbraided by Australian former Olympic tennis champion Todd Woodbridge, who said she had shown "disrespect" for the athletes in the photo-shoots and could have handled it better.
Cambage, long an advocoate for social justice causes, made no apologies and said she would continue to speak out.
"There's the people who have the balls to stand up and say something and make change. That's me. I was born for this ... I am such a narcissist," she said.
"All the hate that you give me, I love it. It makes me go harder. It makes me push for more."
(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Peter Rutherford)
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