A photo of Australian footy star Tayla Harris made headlines last week when a post featuring the image was uploaded the the Channel 7 AFL broadcaster's Facebook page and began garnering a slew of derogatory and sexual comments.The photo, taken by AFL photographer Michael Willson, shows Carlton star forward Tayla Harris kicking her first goal of the game during a match between her side, the Blues, and Western Bulldogs. Because women can't seem to get away with simply existing in the world without some amount of spineless trolls hopping on the internet to make lewd comments about them, the comments on Facebook post of the image that was shared on Channel 7's page quickly filled up with with graphic and derogatory comments and remarks. Channel 7 then made the unfortunate decision of deleting the post entirely, rather than simply moderating the comments.
"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?" Harris asked during an interview with RSN Radio. "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," the star continued. "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."
Channel 7 eventually re-posted the image to their social media pages with an apology for "sending the wrong message" by removing it in the first place.
Harris also posted the image to her own Twitter page with the caption "Here’s a pic of me at work... think about this before your derogatory comments, animals." The post generated over 60,000 likes and 6,000 comments.