“HOW AM I MEANT TO REPRESENT A COUNTRY THAT DOESN’T EVEN REPRESENT ME,” she wrote below the photo, adding a #whitewashedaustralia hashtag.
“y’all really do anything to remove POCs from the forefront when it’s black athletes leading the pack,” she added. “until I see y’all doin more @ausolympicteam imma sit this one out.”
Cambage also took aim at a photo of Australian athletes — all but one White — posing in the country’s Olympic uniforms.
“fake tan doesn’t equal diversity,” she wrote.
Cambage posted video of Australian sprinter Cathy Freeman winning the gold medal in the 400 meters at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
“also just to remind you Australia’s GREATEST sporting moment was thanks [to a] BLACK INDIGENOUS WOMAN,” she wrote.
In a statement, the Australian Olympic Committee said the Jockey photo shoot “should have better reflected the rich diversity of athletes who represent Australia at the Olympic Games.”
“We proudly defend our track record on diversity and there will be further photoshoots that reflect our broad diversity of athletes,” the AOC added. “With regard to this photoshoot, however, we acknowledge while proud of the athletes involved and proud of our association with Jockey, it should have better reflected the diversity of our Team.”
But Tom Maher, who coached the Australian women’s basketball team to its first two Olympic medals in 1996 and 2000, called Cambage’s comments “inappropriate.”
“It is inappropriate to make such a big deal out of pretty much nothing,” Maher said, per the Australian. “There have been no bad intentions [in the photos of the Australian athletes]. Was there a homosexual athlete represented? Was there a Chinese Australian athlete mentioned? I mean, where does it end? If I was coach, I wouldn’t entertain any threats at all. If she wants to come, she can come, but if she told me she was going to boycott I’d say, ‘Good luck, see you later.’ ”
Cambage continued to speak out against the advertisements in videos posted to her Instagram stories early Friday morning (U.S. time).
“It's sad, the whitewashing is sad,” she said.
“Your Black athletes lead you everywhere. Indigenous athletes are some of the best athletes we have, and you don’t use them at all.
“And Jockey Australia, you knew exactly what you were doing. You need me to send you a list of all the POC athletes that are trying to make it to the Olympics right now that you could use? I can do it!”
Cambage also noted the inclusion of Maurice Longbottom in the “fake tan” photo. Longbottom is an Indigenous rugby sevens player who was shown in the photo wearing an Olympic shirt featuring Aboriginal artwork designed by Paul Fleming, an Indigenous former Olympic boxer for Australia.
“I know who Maurice Longbottom is. He was the one wearing the Indigenous uniform, clearly. And I wasn’t saying he had fake tan on. I’m talking about the rest of the photo,” she said. “One token POC in a photo is not good enough.”
Nonetheless, she apologized to Longbottom for bringing him into the controversy.
“To Mr Longbottom, I’m sorry that you got caught up in this,” Cambage said. “I did not think you had fake tan on, I was never saying that, I was saying that for the rest of the photo.”