Seven has apologised for deleting a photo of AFLW player Tayla Harris in action from its Twitter account.
@7AFLW originally published the photo on its social media account before deleting it due to offensive comments.
“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,” it posted.
“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 the move drew a heated response from followers who accused them of giving in to trolls.
Dr Kristin Ferguson, Deputy Chair of ABC tweeted, “Of all the possible responses to the online denigration women face on a daily basis online, removing evidence of their contributions/skills/strength should be last on that list. I hope photos of @taylaharriss in full flight now flood our social media platforms. #taylaharris”
Tayla Harris tweeted, “Here’s a pic of me at work… think about this before your derogatory comments, animals.”
Seven later did a U-turn late last night, pinning the image to the top of is account.
“We’re sorry. Removing the photo sent the wrong message,” it said.
“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.”
On RSN Radio’s Breakfast Club this morning Harris said, “It’s not about me now, it’s about a much bigger picture.
“I’m happy to talk about this because I’m feeling fine now, but there’s people who may have experienced things like sexual assault who would have seen this too and their reactions might be very different.
“We’re not talking about the trolls right now, we’re talking about society right now and a much bigger picture.”