By Paora Manuel
May 06, 2019

Feed the Sports Trolls?


The old tale goes that you shouldn’t feed the trolls...they’ll know what to wind you up with. Someone should’ve told that to Australian media organisation Channel 7 and their social media team after taking down the image of the AFL Women’s player Tayla Harris back in March.

The photo, an iconic image in its own right, shows Tayla Harris kicking the football from 65 metres out, legs going up with a powerful follow through. When the photo was uploaded, it was targeted by trolls who made “inappropriate and offensive” comments. It proved too much for the social media team who took down the post and replaced it with the following 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 Calrton's thrilling win over the Western Bulldogs. 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."

Later on, the photo was posted back up with the following: “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 Tayla Harris’ incredible athleticism & we'll continue to celebrate women's footy.”

Sporting organisations such as the AFL and NRL have embraced women as part of their respective games. It’s up to us to make sure that we embrace these talented players and don’t resort to being sad trolls who get a kick from being keyboard cowards and calling people out online.

Don't know how to sport? Football:
  • First of all, it’s “football.” Call it soccer and your cover is instantly blown.
  • Pick an EPL team. You can never change it. Defend them ruthlessly, no matter how shit they are this season.
  • Make sure you yell “wanker” at least three times during the game.
  • If someone falls to the ground, instantly assume they’re diving. Unless they’re on the team you’re rooting for, in which case it’s definitely a pen (penalty).
  • Learn cockney slang. It’s essential for pestering the ref.
  • You must consume at least two jugs of beer whilst watching.

In 1971, astronaut Alan Shepard played golf on the moon after sneaking a golf ball and a club onto the Apollo 14 mission. 

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