“Photo of the year,” the caption read.
The pic showcased everything that’s exciting about women in sport right now: the next level power, passion and world-class skill our AFLW players have become synonymous with these past two seasons.
Comments came in thick and fast. But the majority weren’t celebrating Tayla’s epic athleticism or the fact that she’d won a contested mark 40 metres out and gone on to kick the first goal of the game. Rather, keyboard warriors took it as an opportunity to objectify her, prompting 7AFL to swiftly remove the image from their page due to the offensive nature of the content. This sparked an incredible reaction from fans and many of Australia’s famous faces.
Tayla herself responded in style, tweeting: “Here’s a pic of me at work… think about this before your derogatory comments, animals.”
She also reposted the shot on her Instagram feed, writing “My hamstring is okay, but derogatory and sexist comments aren’t.” Her clapback attracted more than 14,000 likes and almost 800 comments and resulted in the hashtag #GoTaylaGo trending across social media.
This morning, 7AFL apologised via Twitter for taking down their original post, admitting the move sent the wrong message.
“We’re sorry. Removing the photo sent the wrong message,” they said. “Many of the comments made on the post were reprehensible & we’ll work harder to ban trolls from our pages. Our intention was to highlight @taylaharris incredible athleticism & we’ll continue to celebrate women’s footy.”
Here's the thing: our sportswomen have proved their worth in every code – be it swimming, cricket, football or rugby. But despite all the progress, we have to ask: why are female athletes still being objectified in a way that their male counterparts never would be?
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You can watch Tayla Harris' epic kick below...