Brisbane Broncos winger Julia Robinson has highlighted disrespectful comments made on social media, saying “no one should be ashamed or self-conscious to have muscles”.
Last week, the Broncos posted a series of training photos of its NRLW team, including a picture of Robinson holding a ball, which attracted over 200 comments.
A number of users made disparaging comments about her physique, with some comparing her to a man.
“I never usually read social media comments, or let them affect me,” the 24-year-old winger wrote on Instagram story.
“However I just wanted to say that no one should be ashamed or self conscious to have muscles. It shows dedication and hard work.”
“I love my muscles.”
Brisbane Broncos CEO Dave Donaghy condemned the comments, saying the club was “angered” by the words written about the player.
“Julia is one of the hardest workers in both our men’s and women’s program, and her consistently elite performances on the field reflect the effort she puts into her training and preparation,” he said in a statement.
“That’s not to mention the widespread work she does in the community, and the inspiration she gives to young athletes, both boys and girls.
“Surely our society has moved beyond athletes and role models like Julia being belittled for a photo that showcases everything that is great about our sport.”
Players and coaches from across the league have expressed support for Robinson.
“(Julia) is the most dedicated, motivational and determined athlete I’ve ever met,” teammate Emily Bass wrote.
Newcastle Knights player Kirra Dibb labelled the comments as “disgusting”.
“No one should be anything but complimentary to athletes that work incredibly hard to be the best in their sport,” Dibb wrote on Instagram.
“(Robinson) is about to continue her amazing form and show the keyboard warriors what a true athlete can do.”
“Absolutely disgusting behaviour from those people,” NRLW Dragons coach Jamie Soward wrote on Twitter.
“I marvel at the athleticism my NRLW girls have and proud of all female athletes.”