Basketball Star Liz Cambage Responds To Body-Shaming From Coach

As one of Australia’s most successful sporting exports, you’d expect Liz Cambage to be familiar with criticism. Having competed for Australia with the Opals at the 2012 London Olympics where Cambage led the team to a bronze medal, Cambage has come to be a three-time WNBA All-Star who currently holds the WNBA single-game scoring record.

Safe to say, Cambage knows criticism well: from her gamy play, to her strategy, her on-court prowess to her endurance, her game will always be under scrutiny. One thing one never expects in the sporting arena though, is scrutiny of one’s body. Yes, by it’s very nature sport puts our bodies in full display, but it’s thanks to our body that we can perform, that we can test the limits of human potential, and push further, faster, stronger. Never is the body one to be mocked, ridiculed, or shamed. 

It comes as a shock then, that at a recent basketball game, the coach of the opposition made disrespectful and shameful comments about Cambage and her weight. Curt Miller, who is the head coach of the Connecticut Sun’s, was fined $10,000 and suspended for one game by the WNBA following comments made against Cambage, who plays for the Las Vegas Aces.

While the extent of the comments isn’t known, Cambage took to Instagram to respond, calling out the coach for his words. “If there’s one thing about me, it’s that I will never let a man disrespect me. Ever. Ever. Ever,” said Cambage. 

“To the coach of Connecticut, I’m sorry little sir man I do not know your name, but the next time you try to call out a referee trying to get a call being like, ‘Come on, she 300 pounds,’ I’m going to need you to get it right, baby, because I’m 6-8, I’m weighing, I just double-checked because I love to correct and give facts, I’m weighing 235 pounds and I’m really, very proud of being a big b*tch, a big buddy, big Benz baby. So, don’t ever try to disrespect me or another woman in the league.”

Miller since apologised for the comments he made in the “heat of the moment.” In a statement reported by The Sydney Morning Herald, Miller explained: “During last night’s game, while arguing a call with an official, I made an inappropriate and offensive comment in reference to Liz Cambage’s height and weight.” He continued, “I regret what I said in the heat of the moment and want to sincerely apologise to Liz and the entire Aces organisation. I understand the gravity of my words and have learned from this.”

By standing up for herself – and her body – Cambage sends a strong message to all women around the world. It’s never OK to be body-shamed, regardless of your weight and by calling out such actions, Cambage is doing her part to ensure such behaviour is eliminated from the world of sport. For young women growing up dreaming of playing in the WNBA, you can only imagine how significant such a moment is. 

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