The AFL community has rallied behind Carlton’s Tayla Harris after an image of her was targeted by misogynist trolls.
7AFL posted an incredible image of Harris in full flight during the Blues’ three-point win over the Western Bulldogs on the weekend.
The photo highlighted Harris’ remarkable kicking style and showed off her athleticism perfectly.
Unfortunately, the post attracted hundreds of vile comments, many of a shocking and inappropriate nature, prompting 7AFL to eventually remove it.
Harris herself was having none of it though, and posted the image on her own account, complete with a message for those trying to mock her.
“Here’s a pic of me at work… think about this before your derogatory comments, animals,” Harris wrote on Twitter.
Here’s a pic of me at work… think about this before your derogatory comments, animals. pic.twitter.com/68aBVVbTTj
— Tayla Harris (@taylaharriss) March 19, 2019
Some of the AFL’s biggest names then threw their support behind Harris, condemning anyone who commented on the original post.
Deleting the post is giving in to trolls. Also, you’re eliminating all the positive conversation. Also, you’re removing more content around women in sport – which there’s already so little of.
— Darcy Vescio (@darcyvee) March 19, 2019
— Patrick Dangerfield (@dangerfield35) March 19, 2019
— Stephen Quartermain (@Quartermain10) March 19, 2019
— Neroli Meadows (@Neroli_M_FOX) March 19, 2019
Tayla Harris’ trademark kicking style is something to be celebrated, and has been since #AFLW began in 2017. Athleticism, skill & power in full flight. Comments can be deleted; she shouldn’t be. So as well as the original image, here’s 8 more 🙌🏻 pic.twitter.com/VoAj35ri5y
— Elaine Buckley (@ElaineBucko) March 19, 2019
7AFL issued an explanation for deleting the original post, saying the commentary had become too out of hand.
“Recently we published an image of AFLW player Tayla Harris. The original purpose in publishing this was to celebrate the power, skills and athleticism on show in Carlton’s thrilling win over the Western Bulldogs,” it read.
“The image attracted a number of comments, some of which were inappropriate and offensive.
“As a consequence we have removed the image and comments.”
We're sorry. Removing the photo sent the wrong message.
Many of the comments made on the post were reprehensible & we'll work harder to ban trolls from our pages.
— 7AFL (@7AFL) March 19, 2019
The official AFLW Twitter account reposted the image as well.
This is Tayla Harris – epic athlete & footballer. This is AFLW. pic.twitter.com/JIbFvhqwTm
— AFL Women's (@aflwomens) March 19, 2019