Controversy is raging over a statue of AFLW player Tayla Harris unveiled this week at Melbourne’s Federation Square, with one footy legend calling it “ludicrous” and “mystifying”.
Harris’ famous kick this year has been immortalised in bronze in a 3.3m NAB-commissioned statue. But North Melbourne great and Adelaide premiership coach Malcolm Blight, who has his own statue outside Adelaide Oval, is not a fan.
“She is getting a statue for being trolled online,” Blight said on Adelaide radio station Sportsday SA. “Mystifying to me. One of the most mystifying things I have ever heard of. I am not happy about it.
“What about all the AFL players, all the SANFL players, all the WAFL players, all those players around Australia being trolled by d…heads, on a medium that I know very little about?
“Why aren’t they getting a statue? That’s how stupid the whole thing is.”
Debate around the merits of the statue has been divided on social media. Some have labelled Harris, pictured, undeserving and that the tribute is too premature, while others say more statues of women in sport are needed everywhere and the Harris kick was a moment bigger than sport and therefore worthy of being honoured.
A statue of Nicky Winmar taking his famous on-field stand against racism 26 years ago was only unveiled at Optus Stadium in July. Harris said the significance of her statue would not sink in for years.