Channel 7 has come under fire from fans and stars across the world after it removed a picture from its AFL Twitter account after being inundated with comments from trolls.
A picture of AFLW star Tayla Harris kicking during her sides match against Western Bulldogs attracted “inappropriate and offensive” comments.
The Blues star is seen in full flight in the follow-through of her kick.
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.”
But this decision attracted a huge amount of criticism, including from sports commentators and personalities.
This magnificent photo of Carlton’s @taylaharriss by @MichaelCWillson is one of the best footy snaps I’ve seen. It was tweeted by @7AFL but removed because of trolling from pathetic misogynists with peas for brains. Please show your support for @aflwomens with a retweet. #AFLW pic.twitter.com/tthODrRxiI
— Rohan Connolly (@rohan_connolly) March 19, 2019
— Barrie Cassidy (@barriecassidy) March 19, 2019
THE PROBLEM WAS NOT THE PHOTO https://t.co/a48ueZgPcM
— Sam Kerr (@samkerr1) 19 March 2019
The account then reinstated the picture at 11:22 PM, saying “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.’’
— Patrick Dangerfield (@dangerfield35) 19 March 2019
Here’s a pic of me at work… think about this before your derogatory comments, animals. pic.twitter.com/68aBVVbTTj
— Tayla Harris (@taylaharriss) 19 March 2019
The initial removal of the photo caught the eyes of many sportspeople, with Matilda’s captain Sam Kerr saying “the problem was not the photo”.
While Harris didn’t target the removal of the picture, she labelled the Twitter trolls as “animals”.