Tayla Harris calls for AFL to take action against harassment
AFLW footballer Tayla Harris has called for the AFL to "fight back" against online bullying and harassment, offering to give up her wage to help combat discriminatory comments.
In a series of tweets, Harris has asked the AFL to employ a social media monitor and remove racist, homophobic and sexist posts.
The Carlton forward made headlines in 2019 when a photo of her - dubbed "The Kick" - went viral after receiving a flood of crude, hateful comments.
The controversy started a discussion about the online harassment of Australia's female athletes, with a prototype statue of the famous kick eventually unveiled at Federation Square in Melbourne.
The AFLW star pleaded for action to be taken on Friday, arguing if the problem was ignored it would lead to higher prevalence of mental illness and suicide.
"How about AFL and other pages start actually blocking people who comment discriminative, racist, homophobic, sexist comments," Harris tweeted.
"If you can't control your urge to bully and harass you don't deserve the privilege to share your unwarranted opinion.
"God damn I'll give up my AFLW wage to employ someone to monitor this.
"Public bullying is a ripple effect to young people in schools and communities that lead to mental health issues and suicide.
"@AFL be the leader in this space. Employ someone dedicated to this. Ignoring these comments is not a solution. Fight back."
@AFL be the leader in this space. Employ someone dedicated to this. Ignoring these comments is not a solution. Fight back.— Tayla Harris (@taylaharriss) February 21, 2020
Harris has twice been named in the AFLW All-Australian team, and was Carlton's leading goalkicker in both the 2018 and 2019 seasons. She is also a professional boxer, undefeated after seven bouts.
AFL legend and Fox Footy analyst David King said Harris was "an absolute star".
"Her aerial work is the best in the competition. She understands that part of the game and I'm sure the rest is a work in progress. Very few players nail every component of the game," King said.
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