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‘Does she deserve a statue, I don’t think so’: Tom Elliott isn’t convinced Harris deserves to be immortalised

A fiberglass statue of AFLW star Tayla Harris was erected at Federation square, with plans for a permanent statue to be erected in Bronze out the front of Marvel.

The 22-year-old made headlines earlier this year when a photograph of her drop punt kick became a viral sensation.

She proudly took a spirited defense of women in sport after she was targeted by online trolls posting offensive comments.

Drive host, Tom Elliott, isn’t convinced she is at a stage in her career where she deserves a statue.

“She’s taken an honorable stand against online trolling and bullying. But does she deserve a statue outside a sporting arena, I don’t think so,” said Elliott.

“People who are usually featured outside football grounds are featured because of their sporting prowess.

“Tayla Harris is a good player, but is she one of the greats of all time – no.

“However, there is a strong precedent for sporting players being immortalised for other reasons, Nicky Winmar’s statue was unveiled just a couple of months ago in WA.

“So does Tayla deserve the same treatment?”

Dr Kasey Symons, post-doctorate sport & social impact research fellow at Swinburne University, told 3AW Drive the statue stands for far more than just Harris’ sporting ability.

“I think this statue is quite important, because it is quite different from the statues that we do have of our sporting heroes,” said Dr Symons.

“We are talking about an athlete who not only stood up against online abuse, but stood up for a community.

“It’s about a community of people who are advocates for women’s sport.

“It’s a marginalised community, that night they had their voices heard.”

Click PLAY below to hear Tom’s thoughts and Dr Kasey Symons