Kick Like Tayla (2022) Movie Script

[Tayla] Be kind.
Be a kind person.
That's the only message our parents
had for us when we were growing up.
They didn't care
about the trophies, about the awards.
They didn't care as long as I was happy.
As long as I was a kind person.
[Announcer] Please welcome from
the Brisbane Lions, Tayla Harris.
[Broadcaster 1] Tayla, one of the best
key forwards in the competition.
[Broadcaster 2] Tayla Harris,
what a game she's having.
- [boxing bell dings]
- [boxing announcer] Round One!
[Broadcatser 1] Looking at this,
because Harris is going to work against...
[boxing announcer] New Australian
middleweight champion!
[Tayla] I don't know what I expected
with life becoming so public,
but I thought if you just try to be kind,
people will be kind back to you.
The world doesn't
necessarily work that way.
[Commentator 1] The big story... and we
should talk about this because it is
what has been dominating headlines...
And it is of course Tayla Harris
on the hunt for a third AFLW club.
[Commentator 2] Obviously she's
a very good player.
[Commentator 3] She was
a very good player.
[Commentator 2] What do you mean "was"?
[Commentator 3] I don't think she's
a very good player any more.
[Commentator 4] Because a lot of people
said she didn't have a great season.
[Commentator 1] She sat down with the club
and said, "I wanna be up front.
I had a below average season."
[Commentator 5] The great players
handle pressure, and the pressure that's
being placed on Tayla is massive.
[Journalist 1] This one picture of Tayla
Harris has sparked a storm of controversy.
Online trolls who targeted
women's star, Tayla Harris.
Sexist, derogatory comments.
[Newscaster 1] Enough is enough
of these trolls.
[Newscaster 2] This is just ridiculous.
Pulled down the statue.
Burn her on a stake.
[Tayla] Realistically, I shouldn't really
care what they think.
I'm human too,
so of course it gets to me sometimes.
I know what they say.
They tell me everyday
I'm overrated, overpaid,
just some girl who got lucky with a photo.
But they have no idea who I really am.
[strains] Hnn-yah.
Fuck. It looked yuck.
Leg days are never, never pretty.
Can we do it again?
Every time I do a big one,
I end up going bang.
Okay. Here we go.
[strains] Hnn-yah.
That was just as ugly.
- Yeah, I think I could do more.
- Oranges?
- Yeah.
- Yeah?
[Tayla] I think people have expectations,
of course, of athletes,
and I think
often it's forgotten that we're human.
Like, for example, this season,
I haven't played at all to my...
My standard that I put upon myself,
but I've certainly got back to that point
where now my absolute only obligation
is to play good footy
and to be a good boxer.
With boxing playing its role
because of course the physical benefits of
boxing and boxing training are clear,
and so they're always gonna help footy.
Which is why my two sports
go so hand in hand.
[Faris] I've been working with Tayla
since various start in 2015.
She came out of nowhere,
comes to the gym,
I start having fights with her,
and, like, I'm holding the mitts for her
and, like, I can feel the impact.
I'm like, "what's this?"
In the fight, when you hold,
- wait for my reaction.
- Okay.
Her first fight she won by
stopping the other girl.
Like, literally, she broke her nose.
I knew she was hitting hard,
but I wasn't expecting that.
Well, she might have broke her nose,
but she'd be apologetic about it too.
She'd be horrified that she's done that,
because that's... that's in her nature.
When she first started, she was saying,
"Well, I don't like to hurt people.
I don't like to hit people."
And then... but she's evolved on that.
She understands
it's part of the sport she's in.
[Broadcaster 1] Tayla smells
blood in the water.
[Brian Amatruda]
Now she's two-time Australian champion,
and she's rated #3 in the world.
I suppose why does two people...
One succeeds, one doesn't?
One's got a bigger drive.
And she's got a bigger drive
than anybody I know.
[Tayla] Lessons from boxing.
Once something happens,
and it doesn't necessarily go your way,
there is no time to dwell on it
'cause the next punch is coming.
And if you don't get out of the way,
you're gonna get knocked out.
And [indistinct] service.
Come on, come on. Hello?
[gasps] Hi, Beansy.
Go Laine, go.
Go Elaine! Go Elaine!
This is me and my coach, Faris.
So that was when I won my
Australian title fight... the second one...
And when I lost 10 kilos for the fight
and I thought I was gonna die.
It was such a strange feeling.
He described it as driving a new car.
Like, you just... don't know how it works,
don't know how the controls work.
I'll never forget. I've never felt...
or seen anyone
literally put belief in you.
And if it was a movie,
it would be one of those movies
where they, like, zoom in on the brain
and then it's, like, going through
all the brain cells.
And then it's like an explosion...
Bang... and then come back out.
You can win this fight.
Like, you are going to win this fight.
And so I was like...
"Okay," and then I went out
and knocked her out.
So in Brisbane I have a memory box...
Or it's all, like, newspaper clippings
and whatever else...
But I keep one here as well.
Mostly for Mum, I guess.
"Dear Tay, a quick letter to...
"to you and the girls at Carlton FC
"about the controversy pic of you
kicking for goal in the recent game.
"The boys here say great accuracy
and amazing pick.
"You so hot, babe, and look like
you could have been anyone, anything.
Keep going, babe. Kick it to me. LOL."
Ohh that... he's quoting the comments
[laughing] Honestly. They send me these.
But I think I should read this one.
This is from someone in prison.
This is from someone...
"[indistinct] and the boys
in Wallaroo Corrections."
Hello and welcome to Channel 9 news.
Today Tayla Harris is filming.
[Tayla] I had a very fun and, you know,
easygoing childhood.
My next door neighbour and I
would often hang out.
We'd ride bikes,
we'd film little home movies.
For whatever reason,
I was really into infomercials,
and I think that was my destiny.
[both] "Oh, what a feeling. Toyota."
[Tayla] I reckon I was
Sandra Sully for a while as Tracy.
We have breaking news.
Here is Tayla Harris.
Hi, I'm Tayla Harris Breaking News.
Today a Pelican has...
[Lisa] Tayla, what are you doing?
Give us the video camera.
Oh no. Oh no! Shut it down!
The funniest thing of them all...
The footage that I found of me doing
a Colgate ad when I was 12 years old.
It's legitimately, "Colgate."
"Colgate Triple Action,
triple the power, triple the action."
Mmm, refreshing.
[Tayla] I loved growing up in Brisbane.
We had a backyard, trampoline,
pool, kick the footy everywhere...
Like, nothing fancy.
Nothing rich. No mansion.
Didn't really need phones.
Didn't have an iPhone or anything.
Just go out and ride our bike for
20 kilometres, or something ridiculous,
and then get home
before the street lights come on.
[Lisa] When Tayla was five,
she started to do AFL with Jack.
It was because I used to
take Jack to his training,
and I'd have to sit
in the car with Tayla.
But she didn't like sitting in the car.
[Warren] Then one day did they
come up short one game,
so she's running around going,
"Put me on, put me on."
So, they stuck her in a jersey at five,
threw her on the field, and she's
never really come off since then.
[Tayla] Dad and Mum remind me it was
a bit challenging for them as parents,
because other parents
would comment to their young boy,
"Don't touch her. You're not allowed
to tackle or hit girls or smash her.
She shouldn't be here."
Some took it the wrong way.
Some parents didn't like it.
You'd hear 'em say, "This is
not fair to have a girl,"
and "The boys don't know
what to do with her,"
and that type of stuff.
And you know, the opposition
team eventually sort of figured out
that she was there to play,
and if they didn't do their job
and keep her under control, she was just
going to run away with it, which she did.
There's just a couple of
Tayla's trophies that she's collected.
There's cupboards of them.
And then that's all her medals
on that side.
Oh, here we go.
She was the first ever girl to be allowed
in the AFL in the whole of Queensland.
So, she was first, and she was 12.
Come on, let's go.
I'm gonna play like a Collingwood player.
Being in a boys competition
with Tayla and being at the level
that she was. Because she was...
She was better than a lot of the boys.
I think... I think that football
was the one that was on the table
at the best and fairest when she won
the Division One boys' best and fairest.
Pretty sure that's the one.
Because she started a football so young,
I think football was what she
wanted to do when she grew up.
There was definitely
support for women's game
from the women themselves,
who had been pushing for this for decades.
At the elite men's level,
half our spectators were women,
um, but they are
under-represented in area.
Every area,
including, clearly, participation.
So AFLW is about redressing that.
[Mike Fitzpatrick] All right,
good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
Thank you for being here today
for what is truly a defining moment
in the history of Australian football.
The attitude of those that built it was
our train is now leaving the station.
It's express. If you're on the train,
jump on now.
[Reporter 1] The AFL today launched
a national eight-team Women's League.
[Mike Fitzpatrick] Today we are joined by
some of the best players
our game has to offer.
[Reporter 2] So Tayla, we had some very
exciting news on Friday that you were
the first marquee player to
be signed to the women's inaugural team.
How excited are you?
I'm very excited
for everything that's happening.
It was one of those moments
where we were all just like,
"Oh God, this is happening.
Like, it's... it's real.
It's... AFL Women's is a thing,
and it wasn't just the day before."
[Warren] The Lions actually signed her
before even the contract
was supposed to be announced.
They wanted it that bad that they
basically came out and said, "Sign this."
So, we just knew from that moment that
that was going to
change everything, and it really did.
[Tayla] I had been at the Lions
for their first season from 2017
until the following year,
so I was there for six months.
[Broadcaster 1] Tayla Harris, putting the
icing on the cake for Brisbane Lions...
And she does! Brisbane win
here at Fremantle AFL.
Well, we won all our games except
for the one that we should have won,
which was we lost by six points
in the Grand Final.
[Broadcaster 1] Fifteen seconds.
Brisbane need to get numbers
to the contest. Can Harris get there?
- [whistle blows]
- Crows win!
The Adelaide Crows
are the first AFLW premiers.
[Tayla] It was amazing
to be part of the first Grand Final,
but yeah, wasn't there for very long.
During the game, it's just... I'm playing
for the Lions, so that's who I'm gonna be.
I'm gonna give my all
for the Lions, so it's gonna be good.
Tayla originally signed with
the Brisbane Lions as a marquee player,
and the marquee player
is normally the best player in the team.
Fairly historic day with
the announcement of the Brisbane Lions
first ever two marquee players for
the National Women's League.
[Tayla] Oh, it was a strange process to be
seen as this marquee player or whatever,
'cause I was just some random kid.
Like, it was... it was weird.
I was 17. Like, I had no,
you know, manager.
There was no fine print read.
So, Tayla was used as a poster girl,
pretty much, for the Brisbane Lions.
[Broadcaster 1] High ball. Harris ca...
Oh, wow! Then delivers.
[Tayla] In my first season with Brisbane,
I was heavily scrutinised
because people roasted me
for never smiling
and never singing the song.
I was, like, "What do you mean?
Like, I'm always smiling.
I'm with my best mates.
Like, I'm playing footy."
Unfortunately, I also actually
then chose to move to Victoria
the year after,
so I probably solidified people thoughts.
And now every step I took
or everything I did was judged.
[Warren] It was a bit of a tough time,
because she was sort of struggling
with where she wanted to be
at that stage.
[Broadcaster 1] Terrific goal.
[Warren] She had a lot of good friends
and good people in the Lions
that she, you know, looked up to.
She knew that the next step in her career
had to be down south.
[Broadcaster 1] Here's Harris
one-on-one with Gamble.
And Tayla Harris stands up when needed
for the Lions and takes a strong grab.
There was a lot of commentary
around her wanting to come to Melbourne
to be a hot shot player that wanted
to be famous and everything like that,
and that was absolutely not the case.
It was more the environment
of probably having a lot
of pressure on her at the time.
Brisbane did not want me to leave.
That didn't help.
She was very close with
Craig Starcevich, her coach.
Yeah, Craig Starcevich was my coach
through under-eighteen's Queensland team,
and then he was
the coach of the Brisbane Lions.
So, yeah he he was cool.
He was like a father figure, I guess.
And unfortunately, when it came to
sitting down with Craig
and telling Craig about her decision,
it was really tough.
She was really emotional about it because
she had been fully invested in that club.
It was pretty difficult. It was one
of the most challenging things,
because I just didn't want
to disappoint him.
And he took it quite personally.
[Broadcaster 1] Just inside
the Brisbane camp,
Coach Starcevich wouldn't be
too happy about that.
[Tayla] But no one's going to look out
for your best interest more than you.
And in reality, as soon as
you're retired or injured, it's all over.
A footy club has no, you know, no real...
loyalty to you,
so if there's moments in your career
that you have to make a decision
even though it's hard or even though
it's not gonna please many people,
I just believe you have to do it.
You know, when she jumped ship
to go to Carlton,
then, you know, that brought out
the worst in a lot of people, too.
[Tayla] I didn't think it would be
such a shit storm, but it was.
I didn't think people would care,
but they did.
Trolled on social media,
a lot of direct messages at the time.
You know, just things like,
"Oh, you're a traitor."
And yeah, oh, "She's shit anyway,"
and whatever. It's like, whoa!
I said it was a compliment that
people cared so much that I was moving on
to a different club, and they decided
to let me know how shit I was anyway.
Before every training, I write
in my little book of fat dogs.
As you can see,
this dog has eaten too many meals.
Um, but I write training focuses.
I do a couple of mental,
a couple physical.
And then after training,
I write out of five how I think I went,
and then I write a little comment.
Often, I think before training.
I'll be like, "Oh, it'd be nice
to have a good session today."
When I write stuff down, obviously,
it forces you to actually think
about it more than half a second.
To be honest,
I probably didn't do it cause
people would think,
oh, it's a bit overboard.
You know, a bit overkill.
Like school when people would,
"It's too cool to do that sort of stuff."
Incidentally, I maybe
did think that, but...
Not any more.
It was during the trade period.
We got a call from Alex, Tayla's manager,
and just said, look, things are stalling
a little bit with the discussions with...
With Carlton, and would we
be interested in in catching up
to potentially explore some
opportunities if things don't progress?
Yeah, it wasn't something we were
planning for or we were prepared for,
but it was certainly something...
An opportunity we didn't want to miss.
[Daisy Pearce] We first met 2012.
I played in her team, you know,
in a representative team,
and she would have been like 14.
So, I've known her over the years.
Awesome having her as a part of our team.
I was so excited when the opportunity to
trade her in came up over the off-season,
because I see her as someone who has
achieved a bit and has a lot of talent
but I don't think she's playing
at her full potential yet.
So that challenge of, yeah,
get her in, and, as a leader, try and get
the most out of her.
That really excited me.
She always does things with a big heart.
She just wants to play. She always has.
Well, she doesn't like the limelight as
much as she keeps finding herself in it.
She doesn't like having the accolades,
so she's always trying to transfer that.
But you know, when there's
times where she'll have to handball,
we want her to handball.
But if she's within range,
I want her to go back and have a shot.
[Mick Stinear] The hopes
for this season is, uh,
that we're there on that last day
and be good enough on the day to...
To win our first premiership.
[Tayla] Hello, Melbourne!
Is everybody having a good time tonight?
Tonight there will be five-dollar basics
at the bar until 9:00 PM.
We just got a message from...
Mick Stinear, the Melbourne coach.
Mick said, "How bloody good
"watching the boys in the Grand Final.
Do me one favour tonight
"and picture yourself in the red and blue
and on the biggest stage in our game.
"We know what it takes.
"And in an uncertain world,
we can be certain about one thing.
"We will earn the right to
compete in next year's Grand Final,
"and we will execute on the biggest stage,
and you'll forever be remembered
as the first ever Melbourne team to win an
AFLW premiership. Go D's!"
Go Tigs!
[Broadcaster 1] Good bounce.
So, once I got confirmed that I was
gonna go play at Melbourne Footy Club,
it went from this uneasy,
sort of unsure feeling...
Obviously, not knowing where I was going,
what I was going to do...
To just... I was so excited.
Like, I was so excited to...
to be back at Mel.
And I can say "back in Melbourne,"
'cause that's where I played
my exhibition games for this.
That was my very first interaction
at an AFL Footy club.
Tayla hates the camera.
This what pressure feels like
on the footy field, is it?
Trying to get rid of it?
[Broadcaster 1] Benny Brown...
[Tayla] Benny Brown!
Yay! Whoa.
[Broadcaster 1] Long ball. Picking up
the back. Petraca! Petraca!
[Tayla] So I ended up finding
my home at Melbourne
on the basis that I can come on a one-year
contract with absolute minimum payment.
No additional staff, no media shit.
Just go and play and train
and prove myself and earn respect
just from my teammates who
don't know me and all they've read is that
I want all this money and I want,
you know, I'm a diva of some sort.
[chanting] Go D's! Go D's! Go D's!
[Tayla] I think I found
the love for football again.
Like, it feels great to be...
I guess I have a clean slate.
Ah. Look. Look.
[Broadcaster 1] Every heart is beating
true and blue for the red and blue.
After 57 long years,
The Demons are premiers in 2021.
Extraordinary stuff.
[singing fight song]
You sing that song.
[muffled horseplay]
[Friend] Knock me out, please.
[Kodi] The first time I met Tay was...
at a cafe. Me and Grace Egan
were actually having a coffee
with one of the coaches from Richmond,
and Tay walked past,
and Grace, like, nudged me and she's like,
"Just be nice. Like, she's...
She gets a bit awkward sometimes.
Just be nice to her."
It was in the midst of COVID.
And then a few weeks later we led into
our round one. Richmond's first year.
So, Richmond versus Carlton at IKON.
I love the game, so if I'm gonna put
someone off, I'm gonna put someone off,
whether that's
talking to them, bumping them.
I was talking a bit of smack
to some of her players,
and she didn't like it at all.
So there's Tay...
she's streaming along the side of the
Oval, and I ended up picking up the ball.
And I didn't know who it was
at the time, and I just copped
the biggest clothesline of all time.
And I get up. I was all tough.
I was like "Who's... who was that?"
One of the girls was like, "Tay Harris,"
and I was like, "Oh. Cool."
I was like, "I'm not..."
and just walked off.
Go again.
[Tayla] Kodes and I are a little team.
And we love when our friends say,
"Oh, we love you guys together,"
and like, "You guys
bring out the best of each other.
And we're... both of our
immediate response is "We know."
When you're training with someone
that you look up to, who motivates you,
who you, I guess certainly in terms
of running, aspire to be like,
you do it because you want
to make them proud,
because no one else is going to see it.
Mick, our Melbourne coach, is
not going to see the session I did
six months ago at the local footy field.
The Kodes is the only one.
It was pissing with rain,
and our feet feel like ten kilos.
But we still got through and we still
worked hard and pushed each other through.
Here comes our conehead. Watch her cone.
[laughing] She's a little conehead.
My sweetie.
Her feet.
Oh. I can't. Oh my God.
Oh my God.
She had no idea
what she was going in for.
[Kodi] 2021 off-season has been
probably my most productive,
which sounds weird because it was COVID.
Me and Tay moved into a new house,
got a new puppy.
We really want to put
our heads down and bum up and work,
and one of the major things that
we want to get better at was our fitness.
Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba. Nice.
And it's a new team. She wanted to...
She wanted to impress people.
She's a tall blonde girl with
tattoos who boxes, who plays footy,
who's known to be quite tough
and resilient, but like, she gets to it.
So what, did you think you wanted
to put the ears next to "kind"?
Or do you want to keep
that spacing or what do you think?
Maybe. What do you think?
Will that make it too cramped?
"To be kind is powerful."
This is going to tickle this one.
Yeah, I think this kind of is more...
Bang. Bang! 'Cause then when I punch
someone in the face,
it's like, bang, kindness.
Yeah, that's like that. [laughing]
Well, this one is Elizabeth.
That I got recently. And I actually got it
because there's a bit of controversy,
as per usual, about me, and like,
changing clubs and all that sort of stuff.
And one of my
really good ment... close mentors,
he said, "I need you to read an article
about how the Queen goes about things.
You never hear her complaining."
So, it's not so much about her.
It's more about
the mantra that she adopts,
which is never complain, never explain.
Context is the devil
according to the media.
Like, I've had things end up in the
newspaper printed and I'm reading it
right in front of me on a piece of paper,
but it couldn't be further from the truth.
And it's laughable because, you know,
you... what are you gonna do?
You laugh or cry.
You know, it's just unfortunate
that with the AFLW coming
into prominence, that these players
have to manage a whole new
realm of complexity when
it comes to their online profile.
Many of these young women
are just out of school,
but they are being
thrust out there in the limelight.
They're expected to have
an online profile, and inevitably
they're going to
come up with some form of abuse.
Okay, let's go.
In my career I've... Look, I've had
my fair share of sexism
and comments and remarks,
and even just stereotypes
of what is a female sports body
or female sports person.
Being in a big club, people just,
like, wanting your blood pretty much.
It's brutal.
When I joined the Commission,
I received hate mail and had a whole lot
of guys from the footy world
and the sports world
throwing everything they could
at me to say how outrageous it was
that a woman dared to step into
the man's world of managing footy.
And that's been certainly
challenging in my time.
It's not physically
in any way challenging.
It's emotionally and mentally challenging.
I've been playing footy for.
I've been playing footy for,
you know, 16-17 odd years,
and week-in week-out
trying to defend yourself
and showcase or prove yourself
and showcase that you are worthy enough.
It's... can be really tiring.
Yeah, when I don't play well,
obviously, it's... you know about it
and I'll get messages.
You know, how shit I am,
and I'll get told I'm, you know,
a waste of space. But you know,
I try to take it in my stride.
[Broadcaster 1]
Harris, those long extended arms.
And she takes the mark in front of Ernst,
and she'll go back and have a set chop
because she's a thumping kick.
[Lisa] We were down at the game.
We were watching the game,
and she kicks the way she normally kicks.
So, it was no big deal seeing the kick,
because that's how Tayla kicks.
[Broadcaster 1] Tayla Harris with that
very familiar approach
and that very familiar finish.
Tayla's always been
renowned for her kicking style,
even when she was a young girl
up in Queensland playing.
So, any time Tayla has a shot on goal,
I always shoot it.
Just so happened that particular kick
she absolutely launched.
It was a spectacular kick.
It was like a 55 meter drop punt.
I saw the photo, and the first
thing I thought was wow.
You know?
Actually my groin hurt, my knees hurt,
everything hurt,
in seeing her in the pose
that she was in mid-flight.
Yeah, I think when I first saw
the photo, I was like, "Oh my God,
she's incredible. Like, this is
my teammate. This is my friend."
You looked at it and think...
You know, you see the height,
she's off the ground...
The athleticism in the whole photo.
I wish I could straighten my leg like that
when I kicked, but I could never do that.
[Maddie Prespakis] I just thought that's
just the iconic Tayla moment,
and that's Tayla Harris
in a nutshell in a photo, basically.
You know, to see how incredible it was...
it just... it blew my mind that
people would take it to a place
that they took it.
And in Australia right now,
this one picture of Tayla Harris has
sparked a storm of controversy.
[Lisa] So, yeah, some of the things
were pretty foul.
Calling her everything under the sun
that you can think of and... just awful.
Like really, really awful.
[Tayla] From, like, graphic,
disgusting, like, things,
people alluding to what they'd do to me,
or this, like, sexually
and all this gross shit.
And also, she had private messages
sent to her that were ten times worse.
One I remember was someone photoshopped
as if I wasn't wearing the shorts, like...
and that makes me want to throw up.
A lot people don't realise
how far that went.
A lot of people will just look at it
and go, "Oh, yeah, get over it."
You know, "Toughen up.
It's only, you know...
It's just a few people
saying silly things." But it wasn't.
It went beyond that.
It went to threatening.
You can't get your head around
how awful and mean-spirited people can be.
I had a call from the Prime Minister,
and they said, "Have you seen what,
"you know, what these people
are saying about Tayla Harris?
And what are you doing about it?"
The AFLW star, Tayla Harris,
has found herself at the centre
of an online storm this morning.
It's all because of
an inspiring photo of her in full flight
during Carlton's win over the Bulldogs.
Now, when it was published,
the image was bombarded with hurtful,
sexist, derogatory comments.
She hides her emotions pretty well.
I know that that got to her.
When you see someone like Tayla
that's so up and about and all
the time and she's always smiling.
And to sort of see her get
shut down the way she got shut down
was pretty disheartening.
I think it it showed
how toxic people can be.
And it's probably made her
a lot more guarded.
[Warren] To know that somebody was
out there saying those sorts of things
or threatening those sorts of things,
if we had to turn up the next day
at the club, um,
we had a security guard
meet us at the gate to walk us in.
Tayla had to have
a security guard meet her at her car.
[Tayla] I connected the dots that
perhaps these people might turn up
at the footy at that weekend.
Or they might already be in the crowd.
What if they were?
What if they tried to lean over
the fence and take things next step?
Anyone... wouldn't matter
if you're a young girl
or a grown man...
You know, someone starts threatening you,
you're gonna start looking
over your shoulder and think,
alright, is someone here
meaning to do me harm?
[Faris] She's the first to do
a lot of things.
She's the first female boxer
to, like, two titles.
She's young, and to have all
this attention on her can be hard.
Some people will support you...
but some people are going to, like,
try to take you down for no reason.
Because where she's going, she's doing
things that, like, nobody's done before.
That some people's gonna be happy.
Some people are gonna be jealous.
I think you're naturally,
like, a nice person,
you know, but once your opponent
hits you, your face change.
I like this face because
you, like, so competitive. You like...
Get like, "Okay, it's on.
Now we got a fight." You know?
[Tayla] This is my biggest fear
of the whole scenario...
A young girl thinking and dreaming of
being an AFLW player sees the sort of shit
that I have to deal with and thinks,
oh, maybe I don't wanna do that.
Because of this unnecessary bullshit.
That's what gets me.
Well, fans and the AFL have hit back
at online trolls who targeted
women's star, Tayla Harris, over this
brilliant image of her in full flight.
The AFL is promising to
hunt down and punish trolls.
The now famous image is being used
to take a stand against online bullies
and stamp out online trolls.
[Alex Saundry] Through the entire night,
I had breakfast radio
and breakfast TV calling me non-stop.
I think I fielded over...
I tried to count the other day...
About 287 media requests
in the short space of under 24 hours.
BBC, New York Times.
It just went absolutely
gangbusters across the globe.
Tayla herself has posted the picture
on her own Instagram page saying,
"My hamstring is okay, but derogatory
and sexist comments aren't."
We decided a good idea
would be to go on Daniel Harford,
our coach's, radio show in that morning.
It would be a safe place
for her to have that conversation.
Weren't trying to get a gotcha moment,
not trying to grab headlines out of it,
but just let her talk.
The comments
that I saw were sexual abuse,
if that's... if you can call it that
because it was repulsive...
- [Daniel Harford] Yep.
- And it made me uncomfortable.
So, as soon as I'm uncomfortable
with something like that,
that's what I would consider
sexual abuse on social media.
She was 22, and I can't think of too many
22-year-olds that would have been
able to compartmentalise all that noise...
External noise... and be able
to deliver a message that she
thought was a powerful as anything
needed to be said at the time
and then go ahead and play
a game of footy on the weekend.
There's not too many people
capable of doing that.
And that's where she just
got in front of the camera and said,
"Right-o. Now that's enough.
You know, it's time
that we put an end to this."
[Alex Saundry] Tayla stood up
and spoke of how she felt.
It wasn't the AFL telling her how to feel.
It was Tayla telling us how she felt.
If I'm not gonna say anything,
then what about the people who
don't have the platform to do it?
Tayla had to stand up for herself and
people had to have a think about things
and realise how wrong some people could be
and how horrendous some people can think.
Victoria police,
whatever it is, need to at least
contact these people,
or some sort of warning,
Facebook delete them.
Something needs to happen.
She stood up for herself
and she shut it all down.
And, um, I think, yeah,
that itself was pretty inspiring.
Enough is enough of this trolling.
This is just ridiculous.
People carrying on...
It's got to stop.
[Newscaster 3] Tayla Harris has called
those responsible, "animals."
[Newscaster 1] "This is me at work.
Think about this before
your derogatory comments, animals."
Our Tay is standing up, yes,
but we need Twitter to stand up.
Block these people.
Delete them off.
[Tayla] No, I think the timing
of this particular scenario
was what it was meant to be.
I was in a position mentally
where I was in a really strong place.
If this happened
to someone who wasn't, perhaps,
in such a strong mental space,
that would be pretty scary.
But as much as I was in the photo
and I was the one who said
some stuff in front of
the cameras and things,
in reality, it was a massive army and band
of people that created that movement.
Tayla's willingness to
stand up against the online abuse
was a watershed moment. And together with
other watershed moments, they serve to
change community sentiment about violence
against women and about online abuse.
And here we are, 18 months or so later,
and there are big changes happening
in our community because young women
like Tayla are speaking up.
That's what's happening now
with Grace Tyme and Shanelle Kontos.
And what's happening in Parliament House
is it actually takes courage and bravery,
usually from young women
that actually serve
to change community sentiment.
[Newscaster 1] Thousands of people came
and stood outside Parliament House today,
wanting to be heard.
There is a confronting
sense of banality about
sexual violence in our community.
We know that abusive hate speech
is escalating.
[Newscaster 1] Within a week,
more than 5,000 young people
have come forward with testimonies
of sexual assault by students at schools.
I find it incredibly disappointing that
you need to have multiple women's voices
to be heard
before they're taken seriously.
The system is broken.
The glass ceiling is still in place.
It's about an ongoing systemic
oppression that we're trying to end.
That's okay. Do a right.
- Under now.
- Nothing.
One more?
Under now, yeah. And rest.
Two more.
- Nice! Good job.
- Fuck me.
[giggles] Good job.
Well, I got a text from a young girl's dad
asking if I wouldn't mind
chatting to her
about her school assignment, but...
it's about AFLW, so I said, "of course."
- [Asha's Dad] Say hi to Asha.
- [Asha] Hi.
Hi. "Ash-uh," is it?
[Asha] "Ah-sha."
Asha, nice to meet you.
How are you doing?
[Asha] Um, good, thank you.
Thank you for, um, helping me out.
- I really appreciate this.
- My pleasure.
[Asha] Is there anything that you take
from the rude comments and harassment?
Yeah, well, I think something I've learned
since I've been exposed to it all is that
these people that are commenting,
it's actually them projecting
their issues as opposed to
them highlighting any issue
that the female athletes might have.
We're just trying our best.
We're just trying to play and, you know,
and entertain people like we're
supposed to do on the footy field.
And it's not...
You know, it's not appropriate and not
necessary for people to get online
and say such horrible things.
So, sometimes you get tempted
to read it and believe it,
but the reality is it's actually
not necessarily what it first seems.
[Asha] That definitely, um...
Not even just for this project,
but just in general...
Was very inspiring, and it definitely
gave me insight on the whole issue.
Oh, thank you. Any time. And if you have
any other questions or anything else...
so if, you know, wanna catch up
now that we can get out of lockdown soon,
we can go for a kick or something.
Um, that'd be fun.
[Asha's Dad] Thank you
for taking the time out.
No, my pleasure.
Have a great afternoon, talk soon, bye.
- Done.
- Good job. That was really good.
- She was smarter than me.
- [chuckles] Yeah.
[Broadcaster 1] Contested forward 50
for the Blues.
Harris in the middle of that pack.
[Tayla] So, I played at
Carlton footy club for four years.
For three years, it was great.
I loved everything out of the programme.
I have and have made
some of my best friends
being at the footy club.
So in overall experience,
it was great.
In my final year at Carlton, things,
for various different reasons,
kind of fell apart in a sense.
Of course, COVID
impacted everybody in different ways,
um, and impacted the way that
their general persona was.
So, you could feel that
certain people, including myself,
at the club weren't themselves.
[Alex Saundry] Season 2021 was
a really unique one for Tayla.
I think at the end of the season
we we sat down,
and she knew then it wasn't her...
Her best year.
She wasn't physically there.
But more importantly,
she wasn't really mentally there.
It was really tough for Tayla
to realise she wasn't at her best,
because we knew what her best was.
Twelve months ago she was
a three-time all-Australian,
three-time leading goal kicker.
Throughout conversations with the club,
that was a really prominent discussion...
Understanding the change in her form.
Um, and they were really
honest conversations with the club.
I felt really confident
that we would get a deal done,
probably up until
my last phone call with the club.
I've got goosebumps talking
about it, because I just remember
having the conversation with her.
We're in Sydney at an event,
and it was a great day.
She calls me and says,
"Can you meet me in the hotel room?"
"Yeah, I'm coming." You know, thinking
what could it possibly be. No big deal.
Went up to the hotel room,
asked everyone to leave
and we'd meet them at lunch later and...
She's like, "You might wanna sit down."
And I was like, oh, what's happened?
Like, thinking something
like, horrific has happened.
Sit down, she's like, "Carlton are not
gonna offer you another contract.
They don't want you any more."
And she just broke down in tears.
And for me to see someone
as strong as Tay...
feel that in that moment...
That disappointment,
that heartbreak, that upset,
that she was losing 29 of her best mates,
um, that was something
totally out of her control...
It was just like her world
was falling apart.
And it was at that point that we knew
that it was going to be public,
and that was what was
really scary about it.
[Newscaster 1] Well, she's one of the most
pivotal figures in the AFLW.
There was an intriguing article
in the Herald Sun today
which stated that Harris is asking for
about $150,000 to play in the 2022 season.
We wonder if there is more to the story.
[Newscaster 2] Tayla Harris, on the hunt
for a third AFLW club.
Contract talks in the last week or so have
now broken down with the Blues.
[Radio Reporter] Daniel Harford, you need
to come in on this,
because there is a suggestion
that Tayla Harris,
one of the superstars of the AFLW,
will no longer be a Carlton player.
The report said that Tayla
and Carlton have not been able
to come to terms and that she is now
being told to go and look
for another club.
[Daniel Harford] Well, she's taking that
option to look for another club.
Yes, it's been a bit
of a difficult negotiation,
clearly, for this one...
For us and for Tay,
'cause you gotta put it all together
and make sure you've got your reward
for all your players who are deserving
of those things through the journey.
And Tayla's had, um,
certainly some reward for her efforts
through the campaign so far.
But as played out in the...
Well, it was the story last week,
I think it was?
It's just the gap was too big.
We haven't been able to find
common ground.
[Alex Saundry] It was pretty laughable,
and I remember reading the article
and just going,
"How has this gotten so far out
of context? But where has this come from?"
And we were probably
really disappointed at the time.
[Todd Patterson] The truth is quite
different to what gets publicised.
And the media speculation
around her pay packet was
so wildly incorrect,
I couldn't believe it.
The conversations
we had with their management,
the numbers were a long way away
from what was being mentioned.
Disappointing is probably the best word,
because I... like, I...
In every sense of the word...
I was committed to staying
at Carlton and playing at Carlton
and doing everything I can for Carlton.
I have a tattoo.
I've got a Carlton tattoo.
Like, if that doesn't say much,
then I don't know what does.
[Newscaster 1] Starting over at the red
and blue has been a welcome change
after her departure from Carlton
was sullied by pay negotiations
and talk that Harris wanted too much.
[Commentator 1] My view is that
Tayla was an excellent player.
But she's not that player that she was,
but still wants
to get paid the way she was.
[Commentator 2] Well, you need to perform.
[Commentator 1] So, maybe it's
a fresh start is what she needs,
and she then bounces back
to be the player she was.
Money is not an... not a thing for me.
So, for that to be part of the narrative
was more frustrating
than anything else because it
was attacking my character,
which was just far from the truth.
And for that to be...
used as clickbait,
it was much more frustrating
than anything else I've been through.
But I felt like after a discussion with...
I guess my team, my management team...
We decided that it was a much bigger
and more important conversation to be had.
And that was, of course,
that women deserve to be paid more.
We still live in this world where
men sport attracts more eyes on the telly.
It attracts more dollars
into the kitty to make it sustainable
and to pay the big bucks for players.
'Cause at the moment, the
game is only held back
by the fact
that these are amateur athletes
who are expected to play
as elite athletes.
Isn't Tay usually in front of the camera?
[Tayla] Hi, Daisy...
this is my new career... wedding celebrant,
boxer, footy player, camera woman.
Wow, you're incredible.
[Brandon Jack] I sometimes forget this is
only the 6th season of the AFLW.
So, that's... I think the most games
that a player could have played
is still under 40,
and the competition's grown quite fast.
But I think the female players want more.
They want to be full time athletes,
and I think that...
it's hard to see that coming,
you know, next year.
These girls want everything that
the boys want when they play.
There's a stigma around
us women having to be grateful
for the opportunity that we get.
We're here to take this serious.
We wanna be professional.
We wanna get paid for it.
Like, we're not here to just
play because we love the sport.
Yeah we did that.
[Sam Mostyn] If these women
were training at the same rate
and paid in a kind of equivalence
to the professional men, this would be
the best footy in the country.
These are women who are
doing it part-time on shit money,
and they've got full time jobs and they
effectively self-support themselves.
[Tayla] We're kind of pushing
on our ceiling at the moment.
And, like, there's players who are
just exceptional, and you kind of think,
jeez, imagine if she
was really, like, training full time.
Well, she could be,
which is a pretty amazing thought.
And it just kind of
takes that leap of faith, I suppose.
[Reporter] It's been a fairly interesting
two years for the world.
Um, just tell me how good it's been
to have free back
and how you set
them into life as a day.
We've had a pretty massive few years,
myself and everyone else
in the whole world,
which is a pretty crazy thought.
I've tried to, you know, move faster
as much as I can on a personal level.
And I just cannot wait for round one,
because the last thing people remember
remember is the last thing you did.
So, I'm looking forward to
the day I can step on the field,
and you know, give my best.
The thing I'm most excited about,
though, is Christmas.
If the border's open,
going to see Mum and Dad,
and I haven't seen them
in obviously a fair while.
But yeah, family is massive for me,
so I can't wait to get up there.
In my life, pretty much everything's
going great.
The one thing that I would love to
tick off before the end of the year
is to see my parents and my family.
[Reporter indistinct]
Thank you.
[Tayla] I moved from Brisbane to
Melbourne on the precedent
that I could always go back.
Only a couple years later,
that ability to go back to be taken away...
I could never have imagined
that was going to happen.
[Tayla] Hi, hello.
[Lisa sobbing] Hi. It's been too long.
Hi, [indistinct]
How are you, sweetie pea?
Good. How are you? Why are you crying?
Disappointing. [laughing]
We've missed you so much.
Miss you too.
[Alex Saundry] I think the Tayla that I
saw in 2020 was just a completely
different version of someone
that had everything taken from her.
There's my Kodi.
She understands that everyone was in
a similar boat, but for her it was family,
it was her work, it was her passion,
it was her drive, it was everything.
If you lay it out, like, when you
take away everything from someone,
everything that someone loves,
family or even just ability to see family,
sport, football, work.
So, like I've had challenges
that I've had to kind of overcome,
and they've kind of played out
and I've been able to rely on people,
get advice, work it out as I go.
It wasn't so dramatic,
and it didn't take everything away.
COVID did.
And then not only that.
Like, seeing people around me
suffer much more.
At the time, it was really hard to...
I guess buy into complaining
or buy into, like, feeling it,
because the person
potentially next to you
doesn't even have family
or something along those lines.
And then so, I kind of, like, pigeon-holed
myself thinking, "It's not so bad.
At least I still have my family,
just a FaceTime call away."
I should never have played. Like, I should
never have been able to take the field,
because I was fucked. But I did,
and so I could be happy with that.
But then I guess getting back
to your question about
the Carlton fall out,
I guess we can call it.
Um, yeah, I think I was definitely
hurt by the way that it unfolded.
But I also very much understand
that football is absolutely a business,
and if you don't think it is
for even a second, you're silly.
Um, and then as soon
as things go to shit a bit, you're out.
And that's literally what happened.
And so, yeah, obviously
I didn't play very well.
And then, um [choking up] ...cause for...
I think, 'cause... So, they...
Oh, fuck's sake.
I love you.
Love you.
[Lisa] She was very fragile
coming out of COVID.
She likes to put off this
'I'm really tough.
I don't need anybody' persona,
and that's what is out there
in the media.
'Look at me, I'm... I can handle anything.'
I think deep down, she is sooky
for her family.
[Lisa indistinct]
After the boats right here.
Have to avoid them.
[Lisa] The fact that she couldn't
come home, that she couldn't see us...
I think that really shook her.
Oh, it's so, so pretty.
Oh, so pretty.
[Kodi] Oh, beautiful.
Oh, it's nice.
[Lisa] Is it nice?
Very nice.
[Tayla] This is the Morten Island
sand dune, or Tangalooma sand dune,
and since I can remember
since I was really little,
we would run up, throw ourselves down.
There we go again, up and down,
and it's just like... it's like a ritual.
Every time we come here we have to do it.
We bring new people.
Kodi came for the first time last year.
And then you just...
sacrifice into the sand.
This almost exact time last year
I was in a completely different headspace.
I had just experienced
the full impact of lockdown.
I remember being here and thinking,
oh, I've gotta go back next week.
Back to lockdown, start training,
and I'm not feeling fit enough.
And I wasn't at a level...
where I felt confidence
coming into pre-season,
because this year is
the complete opposite.
Like, I've never felt fitter.
It takes a long time to gain,
but it takes nothing at all to lose.
[indistinct horseplay]
Okay. I'm done.
[indistinct] yet the outcome we want
is the best opportunity to score,
which is that deeper entry.