TV commentator mistakes 6ft1in basketball star Patty Mills for a WOMAN during Tokyo 2020 Olympics opening ceremony

CANADIAN Olympic commentators were left red-faced after describing basketball star Patty Mills as a woman during the opening ceremony.

The duo had praised Australia for having two female flag bearers at the Tokyo 2020 showpiece – only to be reminded that Mills is, in fact, a man.

During CBC's coverage of Friday's ceremony, commentator Scott Russell mistook the 6ft 1in 32-year-old as he carried the Aussie flag into the arena.

He said: "You know what, I think they had two women carry the flag.

"Cate Campbell the swimmer and Patty Mills the basketball player."

His partner on the gantry added: "That’s how you do it, that’s how you do it."

Alas, Mills – full name Patrick Sammie Mills – had actually broken a different sort of boundary in being handed his country's flag.

The Canberra-born NBA star was Australia's first indigenous flag-bearer at an Olympic Games.

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His father, Benny, is a Torres Strait Islander, hailing from the group of islands north of the Australian mainland, and mother Yvonne is an Aboriginal Australian.

Viewers reacting to the incident online were left a mixture of embarrassed and irked.

Twitter user Kristian wrote: "CBC commentator just called out Australia for having 'two female flag bearers'… that was Patty Mills bro."

Nick added: "Interesting that in the opening ceremonies replay CBC cut out where they said Australia had two female flag bearers … one of them was Patty Mills of the San Antonio Spurs."

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Another viewer tweeted: "Dear Australia and Spurs and Patty Mills , as a Canadian and as a basketball fan, I sincerely apologize for the CBC commentators' embarrassing error. One of them is even a basketball guy!! The second hand embarrassment is very real."

Mills is hoping to lead Australia to a first-ever Olympic medal in the men's tournament – with a record of four fourth-placed finishes to their name.

In a career that has taken him across his homeland, China, and the United States, he has spent the last nine years with San Antonio Spurs and won the 2014 NBA championship.

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