A day after AFL Women’s star Tayla Harris made headlines around the world, it’s been reported that some of the people leaving sexist comments on AFLW photos are actually male Victorian players.
The photo of Harris, who plays for Carlton, was posted by 7AFL on Tuesday, but it attracted so many vile and sexual comments, it was taken down.
There was a public outcry at ‘giving in to the trolls’ and so, the picture was re uploaded not just on 7AFL, but on prominent Instagram sites across Australia, with many individuals posting it to show their solidarity.
According to The New Daily, a recent comment making fun of AFLW player and former Olympian Cecilia McIntosh came from Josh Mellington’s Facebook account – a former Fremantle player.
Can someone tell former Docker, and current nerd, Josh Mellington that Mcintosh is always going to have more games at the top level to her name than he will… She’s also represented Australia in a few sports. You keep doing you, Mello ???? ???? ????????♂️ pic.twitter.com/7KD0ys60m0
— Paul Robinson (@paulrobinson422) March 19, 2019
Another Facebook comment, criticising Harris’ kicking abilities, came from the account of a man who plays for a semi-professional Australian rules football club in Melbourne.
At a press conference yesterday, 21-year-old Harris said, “These people are behind screens now but no one’s saying they aren’t going to show up at the footy at the weekend”.
“I genuinely consider that they might show up at the footy. If they’re thinking this way and able to write it down, what are they going to do when I’m on the sideline meeting some kids – that’s what I’m going to have to think about now,” she said.
“As much as it shouldn’t be the case at all, that’s the reality of it.”
The AFL has reportedly called for tighter controls to combat online abuse, with their integrity unit joining forces with Channel 7 to hopefully identify the perpetrators and ban them from future games.