'Missing the point': Tayla Harris statue sparks heated debate

A social media debate has erupted after a statue was unveiled in Melbourne on Wednesday to celebrate women’s AFL star Tayla Harris.

The Carlton AFLW star’s famous airborne kick has been immortalised with a bronze statue in Melbourne’s iconic Federation Square.

A photograph of the kick became a viral sensation earlier this year after sparking a spirited defence of women in sport when Harris was targeted by online trolls posting offensive comments.

The 22-year-old AFLW player said she was humbled by the 3.3m tall statue, which was unveiled at Federation Square but does not yet have a permanent home.

"It doesn't matter if you're a man or a woman, young or old - everyone has a right to do what they love," Harris said.

Tayla Harris' famous kick has been immortalised in bronze. Pic: Getty

"That's what I want people to see when they look at this."

Bizarrely, the statue sparked its fair share of backlash on social media.

Many observers claimed that there were female sporting stars in Australia that were far more deserving of such an honour than Harris.

However, the positive reaction from fans seemed to far outweigh the negativity.

Harris' supporters insisted that critics of the statue failed to grasp the power in its symbolism.

With AAP