Australia doesn’t quite know what to do with Ben Simmons.
As of mid-July, the 23-year-old NBA player became the highest paid Australian athlete of all time.
He’s six foot ten. He’s famous – both in the US and at home. And he has a white mum and a black dad.
On Tuesday night, while visiting Australia, the professional basketballer attempted to enter the gaming floor inside Melbourne’s Crown Casino with three friends.
What does it take to be an Australian sporting hero? Post continues below.
According to Simmons, a security guard asked a few of them to present their IDs. One man in their group was not asked. He also happened to be white.
The Philadelphia 76ers point guard said he and his friends felt “singled out” by security in a since deleted Instagram story, and inferred they had been racially targeted.
The Casino insists that isn’t the case.
So, was Simmons racially profiled in Melbourne on Tuesday night?
Well. I don’t know. I wasn’t there. What I do know, however, is best summed up by Charlie Pickering who wrote five years ago that as a white person, “I know nothing about racism in Australia”.
Neither does 2GB broadcaster Steve Price, who suggested on The Project that perhaps Simmons was using the Crown incident to plug a documentary he executive produced called The Australian Dream, about the experiences of Indigenous footballer Adam Goodes.