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‘Not everyone is size 6’: AFLW star Sarah Perkins hits back at online body-shamers

Gold Coast Suns player receives widespread support after hitting back at online trolls commenting on her weight

The AFLW star Sarah Perkins has received widespread support after she hit back at online trolls who body-shamed her in the wake of the Gold Coast Suns’ defeat to St Kilda at the weekend.

Perkins had already kicked a goal and two behinds in Sunday’s match, and taken four marks before she took a fifth in front of goal with a minute left in the game and her side four points behind.

But the key forward, usually known for her keen eye for goal, skewed her shot wide and the Suns dropped to a narrow 5.4 (34) to 4.7 (31) defeat – their fourth loss of the season so far.

On Monday, Perkins took to her social media to apologise to Suns fans, prompting an outpouring of support for the 28-year-old.

“Yesterday hurt a lot but the sun came up this morning and I’m ready for a big week on the track and in front of goals,” she said. “Sorry to the Gold Coast Suns fans but please stick with us.”

But there were also some accounts that responded with body-shaming messages and comments about her weight, which Perkins promptly called out.

Perkins tweeted: “2 from 2 this evening … anyone other bloke/fake account wanna comment on my size, body shape, athleticism? More than happy to hear feedback about my football skill/ability but unfortunately not everyone can be a size 6!”

The Collingwood captain Steph Chioci was one of several high-profile sportswomen who jumped to Perkins’ defence, tweeting: “People are just jealous they have never achieved anything worth posting about. Got your back always. Can’t wait to see you kick more snags from 50m out and lay tackles like a boss.”

The former cricketer Alex Blackwell and recently retired netball star Caitlin Bassett also tweeted messages of support for Perkins, while the AFL’s social and inclusion policy chief, Tanya Hosch, shared a video of last week’s 55-metre goal of the year nominee against the Bulldogs and said Perkins had been instrumental in making the AFLW “great right from the start”.

Perkins, who spent three years in the AFLW with Adelaide and Melbourne before moving to the Gold Coast last year, has been a fan favourite at all three clubs. She played just five matches for the Suns in 2021 before suffering a knee injury but has come back strongly this season.

In response to the trolls on Monday, Perkins also posted a screenshot of one comment on her Instagram story along with the caption: “Shit like this will never get old” and two middle-finger emojis.

The AFL Players Association said: “There’s no room for these kinds of comments. We’re with you all the way, Perko.”

The Gold Coast Suns have been contacted for comment.

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