Perth NBL star apologises for offensive rainbow flag tweet

Perth Wildcats NBL star Corey Webster and a rainbow flag tweet
Images: Perth Wildcats, X

Perth Wildcats NBL player Corey Webster has apologised for an offensive social media post about the LGBTQIA+ community.

Corey (pictured above) was responding to a post on Twitter X with a picture of the rainbow pride flag. The post asked the question, “What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you see this flag?”

On Sunday night, Corey wrote the response, “Mental illness.”

He later deleted the comment, but screenshots of the exchange circulated online causing outrage. The next morning, Corey posted “PROTECT THE CHILDREN” before locking his X account.

The New Zealand-born NBL player later issued an apology through the Perth Wildcats.

“While it certainly wasn’t my intent, I understand the hurt my comments have caused and I am sincerely sorry for this,” Corey said in the statement.

“It wasn’t how I intended my comments to be perceived and I will take a break from social media and use that time to better educate myself on the impact comments such as this can make on individuals I may have offended.”

The Perth Wildcats added Corey “conceded that his comments were insensitive” and “that they don’t align with the club’s values of inclusiveness”.

“Noting that he should have understood the consequences of his actions, Webster has committed to better educating himself and said he stands with the club on inclusiveness,” the club said in a statement.

NBL say Corey Webster’s post ‘insensitive and harmful’

NBL CEO David Stevenson said Corey Webster’s “disappointing” social media comment is “insensitive and harmful”.

“We want the NBL to be a safe and inclusive environment at all times and encourage the greater inclusion and wellbeing of LGBTQ players, members and fans,” he said.

“The community is critical in supporting inclusion and diversity in our society and we all must work together to encourage everyone to be themselves.”

Perth Wildcats NBL star Corey Webster tweet
Image: X

Corey Webster was born in New Zealand and is a triple NBL champion. He joined the Perth Wildcats in June last year.

Isaac Humphries is first NBL player to come out

In November 2022, Adelaide NBL player Isaac Humphries came out, becoming the first openly gay player in NBL history.

He’s the only active openly gay male professional basketballer in a top-tier league anywhere in the world.

On Tuesday afternoon, Corey Webster was stood down by the Perth Wildcats just hours before a match that night against Isaac’s team, the Adelaide 36ers.

“In light of the last 24 hours, Corey Webster has been stood down from tonight’s match,” the Wildcats said.

“The decision has been made following ongoing discussions between Webster and the club. Both parties have agreed that upon further reflection the decision is appropriate.”

The Adelaide 36ers have said the comment made by Webster was insensitive and harmful.

“As a club, we are disappointed and take these matters seriously and condemns vilification of any kind,” the 36ers said.

“As a club, we are forever committed to building greater awareness of the harm caused through comments such as these.”

NBL hosted its first Pride Round

In January, the NBL hosted a Pride Round for the first time, and plan to do so again. At the time, the league gave players across nine matches the option of wearing rainbow pride jerseys.

At the time, a cohort of Cairns Taipans players declined to wear them. Ultimately, all the Taipans declined to wear the jerseys, prompting a heartfelt response from Isaac Humphries himself.

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia


  1. Peter Turner
    20 September 2023

    The only thing he’s sorry about is the fact that he got caught.
    Apologies after the fact are never genuine and shouldn’t be accepted.
    Maybe he could spend some of his down time volunteering at a LGBTQI youth charity and educating himself on the mental health implications his type of comments cause.

  2. Rob
    20 September 2023

    Maybe the Perth Wildcats should be boycotted as punishment for his remarks.
    Typical though he don’t seem like a very intelligent young chap.

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