Tayla Harris Says Her Trolling Ended Up Being A Positive Thing
In March this year, AFLW star Tayla Harris faced a wave of online abuse from trolls who said unprintable things in response to an image of her kicking, which has since become iconic.
Her reaction to the haters?
At the time, she was angry and hurt. She even compared the experienced of being so viciously trolled to sexual abuse.
After her initial period of hurt, she then got angry.
And now? Well, it's safe to say her perspective has shifted somewhat again.
Harris was speaking to 10 news First reporter Emma Lawrence about tonight's boxing match against Sydney media personality Renee Gartner. It's the sixth bout in her unbeaten career, and Gartner's first.
Harris, 22, learned to box early in life at the local PCYC, urged on by her father whom she describes as her "idol". But before she got into a chat about tonight's action, she told Lawrence that, in hindsight, she now views the controversy around the iconic kicking photo as positive.
"There were plenty of positives, certainly more than any negative," she said.
"For a few minutes it was a bit yuck and a bit negative and whatever, but I just decided -- which is what I do with anything in life that challenges me -- I just decided somehow to find a way to make it positive and work around it.
"And that's what you have to do if you want to keep going in sport. I understood that was a moment that I could take and turn around. And I did so."
Tonight's Harris vs Gartner fight is on the undercard to the Tim Tszyu vs Dwight Ritchie bout -- a match-up between two unbeaten talented young Aussie boxers, the former the son of boxing legend Kostya Tszyu.
Despite not having top billing, the fight between these two feisty females is getting more press than the main fight -- and is even being televised on Main Event, Australia's only pay-per-view sports channel.
"Now is boxing season for me," Harris said. This is my first fight in eight months, and I'll stay in camp afterwards and keep training."
The AFLW season starts in January. So which sport does Harris prefer?
"They're really equal at the moment," she said.
"I love the entertainment of boxing, the big hoo-haa about the event. Tonight I'm coming out to [the music of] Beyoncé's 'Partition'.
"Obviously the goal is to make the most of my career, maybe and who knows? Maybe I'll be working out WITH Beyoncé' one day.
A girl's gotta dream.
And who knows where she'll end up? A year or two ago, Harris was a virtual unknown. Now she's a Nike ambassador alongside the likes of Sam Kerr.