Netball legend Liz Ellis slams treatment of players

Former captain Liz Ellis has questioned the leadership at Netball Australia, who she says have treated current Diamonds players with “callous disregard”.

Ellis slammed the sport’s governing body in a lengthy Instagram post after they threatened the national players with legal action if they didn’t attend an awards night last Saturday in Melbourne.

Australian players were contractually obliged to be there, however other Super Netball players boycotted the event as a protest in their ongoing pay dispute with NA that’s left some without an income for months.

The main award of the night is the Liz Ellis Diamond, however the goalkeeping great revealed in her post she wasn’t invited by NA until the day the RSVP was due, and by then had made another commitment.

Ellis said her disappointment at the oversight turned to anger when it was revealed Australian players had been warned of legal action.

“My disappointment and embarrassment at not being able to attend turned into anger when I was made aware that current Diamonds players and their advisers were threatened with possible legal action if they did not attend the dinner,” Ellis wrote.

“As a former Diamonds captain, I cannot believe that the governing body of the sport I love would treat its Diamonds athletes, who are brilliant role models and ambassadors for netball with such callous disregard.

“These are women who have not been paid in eight weeks. Who are fighting for fair pay and conditions not only for themselves but for the players who come after them.”

netball legend liz ellis slams treatment of players

The Diamonds have had great on-court results despite dramas surrounding them off it. (Linda Higginson/AAP PHOTOS)

Despite the Diamonds’ on-court success, which includes reclaiming the World Cup in August, the cash-strapped sport has had a disastrous 12 months.

They lost a major sponsor after players stood with Indigenous teammate Donnell Wallam, with the ugly CBA battle dragging on for more than six months.

Ellis questioned the leadership of the sport, led by chief executive Kelly Ryan.

“Yet again, netball finds itself in the headlines for the wrong reasons – another crisis entirely of the sport’s own making,” Ellis said.

“This has happened so often in recent times the question must be asked whether Netball Australia is capable of providing the leadership the sport so desperately needs.”

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