Players and officials called for online trolls to be outed Monday after an Australian Rules football star was branded a "monkey" as racism again reared its head in the popular sport, days after a sexism row.
The social media comments were directed at West Coast Eagles forward Liam Ryan after he was reported for striking Brisbane Lions defender Darcy Gardiner. A post on the official Australian Football League (AFL) Instagram account of Channel 7, a broadcast partner, asked fans if the indigenous player should be suspended, to which some responded with racist language.
"Where did they get this monkey, from Melbourne zoo?" wrote one, while another posted: "The monkey should be banned for life." The abuse came just days after leading AFL women's player Tayla Harris slammed online trolling of an action shot of her kicking a goal as "sexual abuse." She lashed out after the athletic image of her playing for the Carlton Blues attracted a series of derogatory comments on social media, with her stance winning widespread support. AFL Players Association chief, Paul Marsh called for changes to remove people's online anonymity. "More hatred directed at one of our players. This ongoing issue needs to be addressed at the source," he said on Twitter.