‘Absolutely disgusting’: Photo fury
Channel 7 has come under fire from fans and stars across the sporting world after removing a picture from its AFL Twitter account due to vile comments from internet trolls.
A picture of Carlton Blues AFLW star Tayla Harris kicking during her side's final round match against the Western Bulldogs attracted "inappropriate and offensive" comments.
The Blues star is seen at full stretch in her follow through.
The 7AFL account removed the photo, replacing it with a message.
"Recently we published an image of AFLW player Tayla Harris. The original purpose in publishing the image was to celebrate the power, athleticism and skills on show in Carlton's thrilling win over the Western Bulldogs," the message read.
"The image attracted a number of comments, some of which were inappropriate and offensive. As a consequence we have removed the image and the comments."
The account reinstated the picture at 11.22pm with an apology.
"We're sorry. Removing the photo sent the wrong message.
"Many of the comments made on the post were reprehensible & we'll work harder to ban trolls from our pages.
"Our intention was to highlight @taylaharriss incredible athleticism & we'll continue to celebrate women's footy."
But the initial move caught the eye of many sportspeople and fans in the community, turning on 7AFL for removing the picture.
Matildas star Sam Kerr summed up the issue many had with the move from the Twitter account, arguing "the problem was not the photo".
Kerr was not alone in her frustration with the move with others furious at the move.
Ex-AFLW footballer Meg Hutchins said: "Absolutely disgusting - @7AFL you really should be taking a stand reporting these guys for offensive comments. Enough is enough!!!"
It's even spawned a hashtag #gotaylago with pictures of Harris playing.
While Harris didn't target the removal of the picture, she labelled the Twitter trolls as "animals".
The photo was from the second AFLW Pride game between the Bulldogs and the Blues with Carlton winning 6.5 (41) to 5.8 (38).
It helped the Blues take out Conference B and sets up a match with Fremantle at Ikon Park on Saturday at 2.45pm for a chance to make the AFLW Grand Final.
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But social media abuse is still rampant in the game with Harris' teammate Darcy Vescio penning a piece in the Herald Sun in February.
"When the AFLW season is in full swing it inevitably coincides with trolling and I often get asked how I handle reading and hearing demeaning comments," she wrote.
"Mostly, I talk about the importance of staying level - not getting caught up in the highs but also not allowing the negativity to get me down.
"It's easy to say 'don't worry about the haters, there are plenty of people who love what you're doing'.
"But the truth is when I read comments like 'get back in the kitchen', I feel compelled to make a stand for all the women and young girls who don't have the platform I do."