Australian Prime Minister brands trolls 'cowardly grubs' for ‘sexually abusing’ Aussie Rules star Tayla Harris over snapMarch 21, 2019
AUSTRALIAN Prime Minister Scott Morison labelled sick trolls "cowardly grubs" after Tayla Harris was left feeling "sexually abused".
Aussie Rules star Harris, 21, hit out at "repulsive" social media comments on a picture of her in action.
My hamstring is ok but derogatory and sexist comments aren’t.
A post shared by Tayla ⚡️ Harris (@tayla_harris) on
A mass backlash and widespread support followed with Australian sportswomen in particular standing in solidarity with Harris.
Morison said of the abusers today: "I think they're grubs. I think they're cowardly grubs, who need to wake up to themselves.
"They're acting out some kind of hatred in a way that lessens them as people. We should give them no quarter and we should treat them as the grubs they are."
Nike Women also took to Instagram to show their support for the athlete.
The account said: "Don't just kick a goal, kick the world forward. When this image attracted negative and derogatory comments, @tayla_harris spoke up and fought for the future of women in sport. #justdoit"
Australian broadcaster Channel Seven had posted a picture of Tayla Harris performing a high kick with the caption: "Great athlete at her most powerful."
CALLING OUT TROLLS
But sexual comments from "animals" led Harris to fear for her safety and stand up for herself – and women in sport – by taking to social media.
She uploaded the photo and wrote on Instagram: "My hamstring is ok but derogatory and sexist comments aren’t."
On Twitter, she added: "Here’s a pic of me at work… think about this before your derogatory comments, animals."
The TV network also sparked more controversy by first deleting the image before reinstating it with an apology and a promise to ban trolls from the page.
They admitted that "removing the photo sent the wrong message".
In an interview with RSN radio on Wednesday, 21-year-old Harris, who is also a professional boxer, called on the AFL and even the police to take action.
Maybe this is the start of domestic violence, maybe this is the start of abuse. The comments that I saw were sexual abuse. It was repulsive and it made me uncomfortable.
She said: "If these people are saying things like this to someone they don't know on a public platform, what are they saying behind closed doors, and what are they doing?
"These people need to be called out by the AFL, yes, but also taken further. Maybe this is the start of domestic violence, maybe this is the start of abuse.
"The comments that I saw were sexual abuse, if you can call it that, because it was repulsive and it made me uncomfortable so as soon as I'm uncomfortable with something like that that's what I would consider sexual abuse on social media.
"So, whether it's Victoria police, whatever it is, need to at least contact these people, some sort of warning, Facebook delete them, something needs to happen.
"We can talk about it as much as we want but they're not listening and they are probably smiling about it."
Harris went on to express concerns about her safety, saying she could be targeted by sexual predators in the future.
She 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.
"As much it shouldn't be the case at all, that's the reality of it."
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