live Infotainment Factory: Sad irony sparked by iconic Tayla Harris statue

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Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Sad irony sparked by iconic Tayla Harris statue


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AFLW star Tayla Harris is once again the target of cowardly trolls after her iconic kick was immortalised with a bronze statue unveiled in Melbourne today.

The 3.3m tall statue depicts the photo of Harris that became the virtual face of the AFLW earlier this year, after Harris' Instagram post containing the image was flooded with vile comments.

Social media posts made by various outlets containing the news of Harris' statue was again hit with 100s comments on each post mocking the honour, with some labelling it "the equivalent of a participation ribbon", while others called it a "lowering of the bar" among other derogatory comments.

Harris' post as well as the statue not only depict her wonderful athleticism, but reveal the ugly underbelly that is social media, and in particular the 'troll' culture online.

Tayla Harris

While the people making the comments sought to tear Harris down, her star only grew stronger, so much so that she now has a statue indirectly because of such comments.

So strong was the reaction to the image, that it prompted calls for the image to be made the official logo of the AFLW, similar to the NBA's silhouette logo of Jerry West.

But Harris didn't receive a statue today because she kicked a goal, or because she can kick further than most players in her competition.

Her moment was immortalised because it is a moment that transcends sport, and that is something that is not lost on the Carlton star herself.

Tayla Harris

"It's a pretty surreal feeling, it's incredible and it's more than me just kicking a football, it's a message, it's a turning point in Australian society, so it's something I can be personally proud of," Harris told the ABC.

"This is going to help people, whether it's in a small way, in a big way and that's all I and people that have their heads screwed on care about, that it's giving people a feeling of empowerment."

Whether you like it or not, Harris and the image of her pulverising a footy 50m is now a part of the rich history of the AFL in the same way the image of Nicky Winmar at Victoria Park is.

The irony is that if not for the trolls who were so determined to put Harris in what they believed was her place, it is unlikely that the image would have gained the coverage it did.

Tayla Harris

If the image didn't spark such a reaction that forced honest, uncomfortable and ultimately beneficial conversations, it would have never been the "turning point" that Harris called it.

Days like this, and reactions such as this, are a constant reminder that despite how far we've come as a society, we have a lot further to go.

A statue doesn't fix everything overnight, but the moment itself and the immortalisation of it is something that will have lasting impacts on young girls for generations to come.

It is yet to be determined where the statue will be permanently based, but as proposed in the unveiling, if it is placed alongside sporting icons such as Kevin Bartlett and Shane Warne on the concourse of the MCG, it is more than deserving.

AFLW star Tayla Harris is once again the target of cowardly trolls after her iconic kick was immortalised with a bronze statue unveiled in Melbourne today.

The 3.3m tall statue depicts the photo of Harris that became the virtual face of the AFLW earlier this year, after Harris' Instagram post containing the image was flooded with vile comments.

Social media posts made by various outlets containing the news of Harris' statue was again hit with 100s comments on each post mocking the honour, with some labelling it "the equivalent of a participation ribbon", while others called it a "lowering of the bar" among other derogatory comments.

Harris' post as well as the statue not only depict her wonderful athleticism, but reveal the ugly underbelly that is social media, and in particular the 'troll' culture online.

Tayla Harris

While the people making the comments sought to tear Harris down, her star only grew stronger, so much so that she now has a statue indirectly because of such comments.

So strong was the reaction to the image, that it prompted calls for the image to be made the official logo of the AFLW, similar to the NBA's silhouette logo of Jerry West.

But Harris didn't receive a statue today because she kicked a goal, or because she can kick further than most players in her competition.

Her moment was immortalised because it is a moment that transcends sport, and that is something that is not lost on the Carlton star herself.

Tayla Harris

"It's a pretty surreal feeling, it's incredible and it's more than me just kicking a football, it's a message, it's a turning point in Australian society, so it's something I can be personally proud of," Harris told the ABC.

"This is going to help people, whether it's in a small way, in a big way and that's all I and people that have their heads screwed on care about, that it's giving people a feeling of empowerment."

Whether you like it or not, Harris and the image of her pulverising a footy 50m is now a part of the rich history of the AFL in the same way the image of Nicky Winmar at Victoria Park is.

The irony is that if not for the trolls who were so determined to put Harris in what they believed was her place, it is unlikely that the image would have gained the coverage it did.

Tayla Harris

If the image didn't spark such a reaction that forced honest, uncomfortable and ultimately beneficial conversations, it would have never been the "turning point" that Harris called it.

Days like this, and reactions such as this, are a constant reminder that despite how far we've come as a society, we have a lot further to go.

A statue doesn't fix everything overnight, but the moment itself and the immortalisation of it is something that will have lasting impacts on young girls for generations to come.

It is yet to be determined where the statue will be permanently based, but as proposed in the unveiling, if it is placed alongside sporting icons such as Kevin Bartlett and Shane Warne on the concourse of the MCG, it is more than deserving.

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