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Cricket Australia and Optus Stadium management condemn white supremacist banner at Big Bash League game

Cricket Australia and Optus Stadium management condemn white supremacist banner at Big Bash League game
January 25, 2019

Cricket authorities and the management of Perth's Optus Stadium have denounced an 'It's OK to be white' banner unfurled during a Big Bash League match at the venue last night.

The banner, at Thursday night's match between the Perth Scorchers and Sydney Thunder, was displayed from the venue's top tier for several minutes before it was taken down.

Three people were then ejected from the venue.

The phrase 'it's OK to be white' has often been associated with neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups and came to additional prominence in Australia when One Nation senator Pauline Hanson moved the term as a motion in Federal Parliament late last year.

It was initially supported by the Federal Government, which later apologised and claimed the vote in favour was caused by an "administrative error".

Cricket Australia said it would issue a "first and final warning" to the those involved with the displaying of the banner.

In a statement it advised "Cricket Australia takes a zero-tolerance approach to antisocial behaviour at any of our matches, which includes racial vilification."

Optus Stadium Chief Executive Mike McKenna said ejecting the patrons and removing the banner was the right move, advising "this is a stadium that is designed to bring people together.

"People are coming here to have a good time, not to be part of somebody's political statement."

Images: A white banner reading 'It's OK to be white' hanging from one of the stands at Perth Stadium (top) and the venue at dusk (below).

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