sports

Tayla Harris addressed her trolls, and then immortalised the best picture of 2019.

Earlier this week, a photograph was posted to Facebook of AFLW player Tayla Harris mid-kick, foot pointing to the sky. Yet rather than admire the power and athleticism of the Carlton forward, a number of trolls targeted it with a series of disgusting sexist comments, comments so vile that Channel 7 felt compelled to remove it from its AFL page.

In the wake of it all, Tayla would be forgiven for getting upset. For throwing a few choice insults. For getting down-right p***ed.

But instead, she’s launched a challenge. Not to the strangers who seemed to think it was OK to sexualise and objectify her, but to the rest of us who saw the photograph for what it was: a sports star at her best.

It’s called the #TaylaKickChallenge, and it’s another step in her effort to drown out the trolls.

In a video posted to Twitter, the 21-year-old invited fans to share images or footage of themselves imitating her now-famous drop punt.

“Good morning everybody… except online trolls,” she said, with a smile. “I’ve got a brand-new pair of Nike footy boots that I will sign and give away to anyone who can do the best impersonation of my kick.

“Just post a photo or video. Make sure to hashtag ‘taylakickchallenge’ on your post and I’ll pick a winner and send out the boots.”

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The post has so far attracted thousands of reactions and dozens of entries from footy fans of all ages and genders, but especially young girls.

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Many (less-limber) folks wisely noted the potential risk to their hamstrings, and offered words of support instead.

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