Bad behaviour by African "sportsmen" in Brisbane

They don't seem to get the idea of sport. So we have the inevitable attempt to play the race card, of course. If they had simply said that they were unfamiliar with local customs and then apologized for offending people they would no doubt have got a much better outcome. That is the sort of thing that Western whites are always expected to do when they offend some minority

A TEAM of African refugees has been blocked from playing after accusing basketball officials of racism. The Hoop Dreamz team has lodged a complaint with the Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland, alleging victimisation by Brisbane Basketball and its parent organisation Basketball Queensland.

Mediation has begun but Basketball Queensland says the players will only be allowed to compete in the new season, beginning next month, if they split up and join different teams. Basketball Queensland says that it is necessary because referees have felt threatened by Hoop Dreamz players and spectators and the sporting body has a duty of care.

But team coach David Yohan claims they have been subjected to "institutionalised racism" and the move is a huge blow which has devastated the youngsters. "They can't believe what's happened," he said. "They thought Australia was a place of opportunity. If they could do something with their lives, this would be the place to do it."

Ethiopian-born Mr Yohan formed Hoop Dreamz, initially playing in a public park in Yeronga, to help keep fellow refugees off the streets and out of trouble. The 24-year-old's success has brought tributes and awards. In November he received a young leader medal in News Ltd's Pride of Australia awards and last Thursday, Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman presented him with a Young Citizen of the Year Award. Hoop Dreamz entered two teams in the Brisbane Basketball tournament last season and, in a dream debut, both made their grand finals last September, the under-18s taking the title.

But their joy quickly soured. Complaints about on-court behaviour during the under-20 grand final resulted in three Hoop Dreamz players being suspended. But Basketball Queensland then went further and commissioned an independent report by lawyer Simon Harrison into allegations by officials about the behaviour of some of the team's supporters. Mr Harrison said that, during the final moments of the final, with Hoop Dreamz likely to lose, a minority of supporters "became agitated and that agitation spilled over into what has to be regarded as inappropriate and, in some circumstances, aggressive behaviours".

The report says that Brisbane Basketball general manager Tracey Wroe, who was officiating at the game, feared for her safety after being surrounded by a group of 30 to 40 supporters after rebuking them for bursting balloons and that she was later assaulted by two girls who threw coins, which hit her in the face. A number of supporters and independent witnesses made statements denying there was threatening behaviour and alleging racist comments by officials. Mr Harrison said he found no evidence of "racist behaviour or attitude".

Officials rang police, reporting a brawl involving 50-plus people outside the stadium after the game but a police report says the group was moved on without incident. Mr Harrison recommended that Basketball Queensland's code of conduct be read to the Hoop Dreamz team before their next game.


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  1. No need to ban them. Maybe a KFC bucket will calm down those unruly spectators?

    Oh wait, that's racist too.

  2. Just another one of the many incidents from around the country on any day, which is so reflective of our diversity.

  3. LOL, nice one ar.

    "They thought Australia was a place of opportunity."

    Bullshit, they thought that Australia was a place of the free go, do whatever the heck you want.

    In many instances that isn't the case, unfortunately though those instances are becoming fewer and fewer.

  4. Most of you would have read the article without knowing the boys and the circumstances around this event and the whole season. I’ll try to inform you on some of the things these young youths have had to deal with.... before doing so none of the team members ever said Australia Basketball Queensland or Brisbane Basketball are Racist. The paper took something’s out of context..... When an official of the game said to an ex referee and three Caucasian youths without knowing they actually play for the team “did they all get off the same boat together” and more disturbing and hurtful comments i won’t mention, you tell me is that racist.???? And yes Brisbane Basketball was notified of this and the other numerous things that have happened throughout the season but nothing was ever done. Most of you after reading the article think that this ban only effect two teams from playing but this is not true in fact another six teams aren’t allowed to play and three of those teams are under 12’s who have never stepped a foot into Brisbane basketball stadium. What is the rationale behind banning these teams that have never been to the stadium let alone played a single game there? The teams are made up of all youths who want to join. Yes the majority happen to be African refugees but they also have Asian, European, Pacific Islander, Indigenous and Australian. The thing is they encourage any youth who wants to come down and participate in training or games to join.... EVERYONE IS WELCOME and they have made this public and many people know this. They made it very clear to the paper that this is more about the lack of opportunity that these youths have because many of them come from disadvantaged, low socio economic back grounds and some have dealt with many tragedies in their short lives. They began last year’s season with high hopes, not because most of their team members are “black” but instead they had an opportunity to play against other kids that they normally would be able to and to socialise and feel accepted. The thing is PAWES (Providing Awareness With Education & Sport) was established to help young people who normally wouldn’t get a chance to try new things or needed assistance in the issues they may be facing and basketball was the tool to attract them in order to provide that assistance.

    Many of you are damming these young kids and automatically believing that they are aggressive and did not follow the code of conduct or did not play in a sportsmanship way which is totally not the case. Not to mention the playing the RACE card.I put this to you after the grand final game there was an article published that weekend which explained how the game went and the nature of behaviour of that night which Basketball Queensland even posted on their website. The article mentions the behaviour of the players and the spectators and how it was a great event. (

  5. So these allegations that suddenly popped up about aggressive behaviour and threatening actions of the players and spectators comes at a very convenient time to persons who feel threatened for some unknown or personal reasons. The article mentions an official was surrounded by 30-40 spectators and later assaulted. This could not be any further from the truth 1) it wasn’t an official and 2) She had walked over to where the Hoop Dreamz supports were sitting and shouted at a young boy who i think was 10 years old at the top of her voice about popping ONE balloon. When a mother sitting close to the young boy got up and asked her to calm down she threatened to kick her out and the same to the sister of the young boy. To be honest she just lost it for whatever reason i don’t know. But when her actions were put to questioning a defensive approach was taking. Suddenly she was the one that felt threatened and the coins that were tossed on the ground were to apologise for the young boy popping the balloon but when the young girl wanted to give it to her she continued to shout and make hurtful comments as a result (which i don’t condone) the coins were thrown on the ground not at her face. This was also done when the official who made the racist comments actions were put to questioning. As a result that official made a complaint and because of his complaint they banned 3 players from playing without any evidence. Ohhh hold on there was video footage to support our case but guess what it “accidently got deleted” Is that convenient?
    I erg to many of you who have read the article please don’t adopt the easiest of approaches of just pushing this aside, saying that look at these people playing the race card once again. Yes i understand it must be frustrating when people do this because Australia is a great place to live with good people in it.Please see it for what it is not letting these young kids to play in a team that they feel comfortable to be in, with their friends, brothers, sisters and fellow Australians is actually not Australian and against the right of being an Australian of having a choice.LET THE KIDS PLAY....... And please don’t forget that they are just kids, imagine if you banned your child from playing sports or a sport they want to play. How would your child and you as a parent feel because..... You’re only a kid once.

  6. Interesting how people get labelled based on their background...'African sportsmen do not understand the customs in Australia'...what? Australia is not heaven it is another country on planet earth and part of the human family these'Africans' are part of...quick judgment does not help but as an Australian of African background i say the majority of Africans who have become Australians do understand basic universal values...that said i think it is counter-productive to have a team exclusively made up of people of one cultural heritage competing in main stream competition in whatever code...the suggestion that they join other teams appeals to me...i have noticed that a lot of my fellow Aussies are ignorant and hold prejudices that come out in these circumstances-in quick judgment...making a claim and the truth of the claim are two different things but there seem to be a willingness to label minorities or migrants is my belief that the 'whites' involved in this situation got away with a few things..there are a lot of conservatives running around with prejudice in their hearts and it is sad that headlines such as 'African sportsmen behaving badly' and views like 'not understanding the customs in Australia paint a picture of 'us and them'...i thought the idea is integration but such views may actually be undermining this...who the heck is Australian anyway? we are still nurturing our soul as a nation thus the ignorance of so many people who see difference as belonging elsewhere...


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