A kick, quite literally, kicked off one of the biggest news stories in Australia last week. The incredible photo of AFLW star Tayla Harris, shared originally by 7AFL, mid-flight has been shared and re-shared hundreds of thousands of times after Harris was mercilessly abused online.
Trolling is the umbrella term that has been used for the torrent of vicious abuse Harris faced online but as sports reporter and author, Sam Lane, said on TV yesterday it’s not sufficient.
"'Trolling' doesn't do it for me. This is sexist. It's misogyny. It's hatred. It needs to be stamped out" – very well said @SamJaneLane
— Danielle Warby (@DanielleWarby) March 23, 2019
“There is a problem with violence and women in this country and this is a case study of why it is so important that we stand up and speak out and call it what it is,” Lane said. “Trolls doesn’t do it for me. This is sexist, it’s misogyny, it is hatred and it needs to be stamped out.”
She’s right. It does.
But there is a giant silver lining to this dark cloud and it’s what has happened since.
After the outpouring of support Tayla Harris received she put out the #TaylaKickChallenge: replicate her kick, share the picture online and she’ll pick a winner to receive a free pair of Nike boots.
— Tayla Harris (@taylaharriss) March 21, 2019
Almost immediately social media was flooded with images of kids, men and women attempting to match her athleticism.
Here’s my entry for the #TAYLAKICKCHALLENGE
— Darcy Vescio (@darcyvee) March 22, 2019
Doing the #TAYLAKICKCHALLENGE with the superstars from @NorthAFLW this morning at the @outersanctum01 #kickandcoffee event, and then cheering on the @CrowsAFLW this afternoon as they soar into the Grand Final! #thisisgenw pic.twitter.com/1mgrAHQFzu
— Kyla Raby (@Kyla_Michelle87) March 24, 2019
— Lisa McCormick (@LAMcCormick) March 23, 2019
— Sam Kendall (@samgoon) March 22, 2019
— Uncanny Annie (@AnnieNNolan) March 24, 2019
— Louise Amundsen (@louise_amundsen) March 23, 2019
— Glen (@gb066) March 24, 2019
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
— John Carr (@TheHolyBoot) March 22, 2019
How good. The image of Tayla Harris will be immortalised not because of the ugly misogyny it revealed but because of the celebration it inspired. Turns out alot of Australians, of all ages, have a lot of time for a female athlete nailing her job.