Australian basketball star Alice Kunek criticised after 'blacking up' for Kanye West fancy dress costume photo

Fellow national squad player Elizabeth Cambage says she is 'shocked and disturbed' to see the behaviour of her teammate

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The Independent Online

A player on Australia's national basketball team has angered teammates after posting a picture of herself ‘blacked-up’.

Alice Kunek was celebrating the Melbourne Boomers’ end-of-season ‘Silly Sunday’ when she posted a picture on Twitter of her painted face, which was part of her Kanye West fancy dress costume.

Elizabeth Cambage, who could potentially be playing on Australia’s national team the Opals with Kunek at the Rio Olympics, wrote: “Blackface is disgusting. I honestly have no words.”

Miss Cambage also shared a picture of the offending costume – which Miss Kunek removed from her account – and later re-tweeted someone who said: “You can never delete this image. Blackface is not ok.”

The Melbourne Boomers are looking into the incident, according to Basketball Australia, which tweeted: “BA is aware of social media activity relating to a player end of season event.

“BA has requested Melbourne Boomers to investigate. No further comment will be made at this time.”

It is thought that Miss Cambage will be the starting centre in Rio, The Sydney Morning Herald reported, with Miss Kunek being considered for the Olympic side - although it is not yet clear whether her recent Twitter posts will have affected her eligibility for the team.

Miss Kunek issued an apology on Twitter after she removed the offending picture, writing: “I’m sorry that people would think my support of Kanye as being racist in some way.

“People who know me, know that I don’t judge others based on the colour of their skin.

“One of the things I love most about basketball is that I get to play with and against women from different countries, religions and upbringings and be united as a team. I never meant to offend any teammates, fans, or people in the community.”