Prime Minister Scott Morrison has weighed in on the Tayla Harris photo furore with a scathing message for the “cowardly” online trolls who’ve abused the AFLW star.
The Prime Minister gave online trolls a kicking for sexist abuse of Harris, lashing them as shameful cowards who target women.
‘FELLOW PLAYERS’: Shock details of Harris trolls emerge
A photo of Carlton player Harris kicking a goal attracted vile comments online prompting Channel Seven to remove the photo before later apologising for giving in to trolls.
The controversy surrounding the disgusting treatment of Harris has made headlines around the world.
On Wednesday, the story had been picked up by publications in America, Canada and the UK, with New York Post headlining their article ‘The story behind the sports photo that has rocked an entire country’.
Mr Morrison gave his take on the controversy on Thursday, tackling the online trolling head-on.
He said it was horrible anonymous abuse that tended to target women on social media.
“I think that’s a shameful indictment on the grubs who get on there,” he told reporters in Melbourne on Thursday.
“Would they say it to our face? No, they haven’t got the guts to do that. They’re cowards. They’re weak.
“They are acting out some sort of hatred in a way which really just lessens them as people and they just need to wake up to themselves.”
The prime minister said trolls needed to be treated as the “cowardly grubs” they are and shown no mercy.
He said the image displaying Harris’s athleticism was a “cracker” photo.
Footy fan immortalises Harris with epic tattoo
Harris’s kicking action has now been immortalised in tattoo form.
Incredibly, it’s on the body of an Adelaide Crows supporter!
Channel 7 presenter Mark Soderstrom unveiled the tattoo on the arm of Blake Griffiths on Thursday morning.
Soderstrom said the footy lover couldn’t resist appreciating the Harris photo.
“Crows superfan Blake came into Mix (radio station) this morning to show his love for Adelaide,” he tweeted.
“While he was at it, he decided to support Tayla Harris too. Nice work, Blake!”
While he was at it, he decided to support @taylaharriss too
Nice work Blake!
— Mark Soderstrom (@Mark_Soda) March 20, 2019
Harris hopes stand will spark change
It would have been easier for Tayla Harris to ignore the vile online responses to the picture of her kicking for goal, but she didn’t.
And she hopes her stand will be the catalyst for change.
“If I can stand up here and say something about it and start the conversation … if that helps one person or heaps of people then that’s what I want to do,” Harris said at Ikon Park on Wednesday.
“I’m fine with people commenting on and critiquing my football, I understand that is the football beast, but it’s the comments that are severely inappropriate, comments that my family will read.
“… The support that has come from this has been phenomenal.
“I think that has shut down anyone who would have made a comment … I hope they’d be thinking ‘I’ve mucked up here’ and hopefully they won’t do it again.
“That’s all you can really ask.”
AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said the problem wasn’t just an issue for Seven, a broadcast partner of the AFL, or the football code.
“It’s more a challenge with the platform, social media, because this is not an isolated incident,” McLachlan told reporters in Sydney.
“But when it’s unacceptable commentary, more and more people are calling that out and that is what has happened here.”