NBL’s Corey Webster finds out punishment for offensive post

Corey Webster
Image: YouTube

NBL player Corey Webster has received a two-game ban by Basketball Australia after an offensive pride flag tweet was found to be in breach of their code of conduct.

On Sunday night, the Perth Wildcats player responded to a Twitter X post featuring the Progress Pride flag.

The tweet asked “What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you see this flag?” to which the 34-year-old wrote “mental illness”.

Corey later deleted the tweet and afterwards apologised through his club. The NBL called the tweet “insensitive and harmful” and the Perth Wildcats made a call to stand down Corey from a pre-season game this week.

That Wildcats match was coincidentally against the Adelaide 36ers, the club of the NBL’s first openly gay player, Isaac Humphries.

On Thursday, Corey Webster accepted the two-game ban, taking into account the pre-season game he missed.

The second game was suspended, meaning he’ll only miss another match if he makes future breaches.

Basketball Australia said their integrity unit found Corey “breached the Basketball Australia Code of Conduct for Elite-Level Participants”.

Corey’s social media comment breached the rules “pertaining to discrimination and vilification,” the sports body declared.

“In reaching the decision, Basketball Australia acknowledges the deep remorse shown by Corey Webster, along with a commitment to undertaking further diversity and inclusion training and donating to charitable organisations,” Basketball Australia said.

It means Corey Webster won’t miss any matches in the official NBL season, which begins next week.

‘We still have a long way to go’

Local LGBTIQA+ basketball club the Perth Spectres were “disappointed” by Corey Webster’s post. The club acknowledged his apology but reminded the high-profile athlete of his responsibilities as a role model.

“The damage caused by derogatory statements such as these can be significant, particularly for players who may be struggling with their sexuality or gender identity,” the Spectres said.

“With only one openly gay male professional basketball player in the world, we still have a long way to go when it comes to removing stigma and barriers to participation.”

Spectres Club Leader Gabbii Tekai said all players must “think about their comments and actions” and the impacts on people.

“This is particularly relevant for elite athletes that are in the public eye,” she said.

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

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