Indigenous politician Jacinta Price has come to the defence of Gina Rinehart in the wake of the Netball Australia sponsorship saga, describing the boss of Hancock Prospecting as a “pioneer” for Aboriginal Australians.
Rinehart has been slammed for not apologising for racist comments her now-deceased father made 40 years ago.
But Price said the mining magnate should not be judged by the sins of her father and said Rinehart’s critics needed to “grow up”.
Rinehart’s company walked away from a $15m sponsorship deal with Netball Australia at the weekend, after players protested wearing the company’s logo on their uniforms.
The upset centred around comments Rinehart’s father and company founder Lang Hancock made in a 1984 TV interview in which he proposed breeding some Aboriginals out of existence by sterilising them.
“Unless you've got a cool few million in your back pocket to support your sporting code, your woke sense of self-importance should be your private opinion and your private opinion only,” Senator Price wrote on Facebook.
“Sporting codes, corporates, and society in general need to grow a spine and stop pandering to self-righteous individuals.”
Price hailed Rinehart “a pioneer who had spent millions bettering the lives of Aboriginal Australians”.
“If we chose to judge others on the actions or words of their family members, we'd no doubt be peering down our noses with disgust at everyone we came across if that's how judgmental we are to be,” she said.
“It's time to grow up. Suck it up, get over the hurt feelings you choose to have and get on with it especially when you have the choice and are privileged to do so!”