Sport

Adelaide 36ers accused of exploitation as artist asked to work for free

Adelaide 36ers accused of exploitation as artist asked to work for free
An Adelaide basketball team has been embroiled in an online furore after asking a prominent local Aboriginal artist to work for free.
Elizabeth Close, 33, was approached by the Adelaide 36ers last week to design their Indigenous round jersey.
But when Ms Close – who has worked as an artist for more than 12 years and has been commissioned for several works around Adelaide –  sent through her quote, they responded saying they were not able to pay her.
Elizabeth Close was outraged when the Adelaide 36ers told her they couldn't pay her for her work.
"I've had a chat to my CEO Ben and unfortunately we do not have a cash line allocated," the email response read.
"We can offer contra in the form of tickets to the indigenous game as well as profile building opportunities."
Ms Close took to Facebook to share her outrage.
"Surely in 2019, large organisations with millions of dollars of annual revenue, are not *still* asking Aboriginal Artists to work for free... right?" she wrote.
She went on to question the 36ers' motivation for wanting an Indigenous jersey.
Adelaide 36ers coach Joey Wright said he "hates this artist feels that way". (AAP)
"Do they want it because they believe in the spirit of Reconciliation and celebrating First Nations Australians in basketball? Or do they want it because it's the trendy thing to do?"
The post has been shared more than 2,000 times and has over 800 comments.
It also attracted the attention of 36ers head coach Joey Wright, who responded that, whilst he wasn't aware of all the details, the majority of their pay is "contra".
"We're not a profitable business so we have to operate that way," he said.
"I hate this artist feels that way."
Ms Close told 9NEWS that she was speaking out because it has now emerged that the club had a "long history" of this practice.
"It needs to stop… pay professionals for their work, it is that simple."
"Whether it's a mechanic, an electrician or a lawyer or a doctor, you don't ask them to work for free and a professional artist is a professional service," her manager told 9NEWS.
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