Young girls have shown off their best kicks to impersonate AFLW Carlton star Tayla Harris in a touching response to the sexist abuse she received online.
Harris started the #TaylaKickChallenge on Friday after a photo of her kicking mid-air attracted vulgar remarks online.
She has offered a signed pair of Nike boots for the best impression, prompting hundreds of responses mainly of young girls on the field or kicking a football in their backyard.
“Good morning everybody, except online trolls,” Harris said in a video to promote the giveaway.
One photo came from former Sydney footballer Brett Kirk, who shared an image of his daughter Memphys showing off her skills.
View this post on Instagram
A post shared by ANNIE NOLAN (@uncannyannieblog) on
— Lisa McCormick (@LAMcCormick) March 23, 2019
— Brett Kirk (@brett_kirk) March 22, 2019
The challenge also attracted some comedic responses, including from Paralympian Dylan Alcott.
One woman fashioned a cardboard mailing tube to look like a leg – complete with a sock and footy boot – and suspended it upright against her torso to impersonate Harris’s athletic kick.
“Think my daughter needs work,” one post said alongside an image of a toddler trying to do a high kick but failing to contact the ball.
— Louise Amundsen (@louise_amundsen) March 23, 2019
Last week, 7AFL was heavily criticised for deleted the photo instead of removing the inappropriate comments.
The organisation then apologised and reposted the image under pressure.
“We’re sorry. Removing the photo sent the wrong message,” 7AFL said.
“Many of the comments made on the post were reprehensible & we’ll work harder to ban trolls from our pages.”
Good luck to the mighty @carlton_fc in the AFLW Prelim today. Also shoutout to @tayla_harris for her huge week, inspired me to give the #taylakickchallenge a crack #afl @AFL @aflwomens pic.twitter.com/2AhFkwYc5S
— Dylan Alcott (@DylanAlcott) March 22, 2019
— Andrew Sertori (@AndrewSertori) March 22, 2019
The New Daily last week revealed that AFLW players were sometimes targeted by fellow players from Victorian sporting clubs.
One recent post mocking a woman Collingwood player came from the account of former Fremantle player Josh Mellington, who now plays in a suburban Melbourne team.
Geelong’s Patrick Dangerfield was one of the prominent footballers to come out against the sexist abuse.
Harris came out strong against the comments, reminding the public it was a picture of her at work.
“Here is a pic of me at work… think about this before your derogatory comments, animals,” she said.
“Things have changed… if you’re not with us, you will be left behind.”
— Sam Kendall (@samgoon) March 22, 2019
— Jennifer (@J_e_n_B_u_r_n_s) March 22, 2019