Australian Boomers coach Andrej Lemanis says he supports Australian NBA All-Star Ben Simmons in expressing how he feels.
Simmons made headlines earlier this week when he posted a video on social media saying he was initially denied entry to Crown Casino with a group of friends and showing his dismay at not being allowed into the gaming area.
Simmons felt he and his friends were singled out at the time while a Caucasian member of the group was allowed in with no issues, although Crown contends that wasn't the case and the group was allowed entry after showing identification.
The issue dominated social media platforms on Tuesday although Lemanis and his coaching staff saw little of it as they were telling the Boomers players who had made the 12-man roster for the upcoming FIBA World Cup in China.
Lemanis spoke at the roster announcement for the Boomers squad on Wednesday, which was held at Crown due to the team being based at the casino's hotel during their camp.
Simmons withdrew from the World Cup campaign to focus on the upcoming NBA season with Philadelphia 76ers but trained with the side during their selection camp and wants to play at next year's Tokyo Olympics should the Boomers qualify.
"Ben has made his statement on that and from my perspective I support Ben and his right to express how he feels on the situation," Lemanis said on Wednesday.
"I wasn’t there and again I just support Ben in his ability to express how he feels."
Simmons issued a follow-up statement on the matter on Tuesday night, saying he and his friends felt "personally singled out".
"I am very passionate about equality and I will always speak up even if it means having uncomfortable conversations," he said.
When asked why the squad announcement was held at Crown, Lemanis said the answer was simple.
"This was always planned to be here. We have stayed here all week and our camp was based out of here," Lemanis said.
"I think this was where it was always going to be, here."
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