The Brisbane Broncos have strongly condemned trolls who targeted NRLW player Julia Robinson with embarrassing comments after the club posted a photo of the three-time first-place winner on their social media platforms.
Robinson called out trolls on Tuesday after the innocuous photograph, which showed the Queensland and Australia representative player in a jersey at training, drew derogatory comments about her muscular physique.
Robinson, known as one of the fittest players in the game and who often posts training videos to her Instagram account, shed light on the abuse by sharing the comments herself.
“I usually never read social media comments or let them get to me,” she wrote. “However, I just wanted to say that no one should be embarrassed or self-conscious about having muscles. It shows dedication and hard work. I love my muscles.”
Fellow players joined her, with Queensland captain Ali Brigginshaw writing: “Always got you (Robinson) you fucking trolls again”, and Jillaroos teammate Kirra Dibb calling the comments “disgusting.” “.
“No one should be anything to praise athletes who work incredibly hard to be the best in their sport,” Dibb said.
Former NRL player Issac Luke posted: “Wowee. Man, this pisses me off. just because you are [sic] They look like potatoes and she doesn’t. Post a picture of how you look now and let us ROAST YOU!”
The club said the trolls’ comments were “disparaging” and that there was no place for such attitudes in the game.
“Julia has been a Bronco since the first day our NRLW team came together in 2018 and we are all angered by the words written by these trolls,” said Broncos CEO Dave Donaghy.
“Julia is one of the hardest workers in both our men’s and women’s programs, and her consistent elite performances on the field reflect the effort she puts into her training and preparation.
“That’s not to mention the widespread work she does in the community and the inspiration she provides to young athletes, both boys and girls. Surely our society has gone beyond athletes and role models like Julia being belittled for a photo that shows all that is good about our sport.”
Robinson, 24, has been a part of the Broncos organization since the league’s inaugural season four years ago, when he was part of Brisbane’s first-place-winning first team.
He made his international debut with the Jillaroos the same year before earning another two NRLW top finishes with the Broncos. He made his first appearance in State of Origin in Maroon’s win over NSW in 2020.
The fifth season of the NRLW kicks off this week, with Robinson expected to line up for the Broncos in their opener against Newcastle on Sunday.