A heartbroken Julia Robinson has revealed she was targeted by trolls last week, less than two months after she was the victim of vile abuse from people who criticized her appearance.
The Broncos winger was snapped on the red carpet at last week’s Dally M Awards after a terrific season in the NRLW, but instead of celebrating her achievements, some people felt the need to try to drag her down.
It’s the second time this year she’s copped online abuse after she called out trolls who attacked one of her posts on Instagram ahead of the most recent NRLW season.
“It just hurts,” a devastated Robinson told NCA NewsWire.
“It’s happened twice now.
“It hurts because I feel like I’m a nice person and I know that I’d never say anything bad to someone else. It hurts because no one likes to be called names or called mean things.
“It’s sad to know that it’s still happening in today’s society, where strong women have to be criticized and some people find it horrible to see a girl with muscles.
“That shouldn’t be a bad thing, and that’s why I said in my first post that it just shows my hard work and dedication. Without that, I wouldn’t be here today.
“It should be acknowledged a lot more; how good it is to see women being fit and healthy.”
Broncos teammate Ali Brigginshaw says she will always be there to support Robinson, but fears online abuse could be an ongoing trend for female athletes.
“I don’t think it will ever stop,” the Jillaroos legend said.
“It’s sad and it hurts to see all these comments.
“I think every player cops it every time they take the field, but it means our game is growing and the profile of these girls is growing.
“For every positive comment, there are going to be people who want to bring you down. As soon as you get to the top, there are so many people who want to be there, and how they react comes down to jealousy.
“When you’re a female athlete, it’s all about supporting each other. We all have her back from her.”
Robinson says she was overwhelmed by the support she received from not only footy players, but also stars from other codes and strangers who reached out to her on social media.
It’s reminiscent of what Tayla Harris went through in AFLW when she was attacked over a photo which showed off her perfect kicking technique.
Trolling is a hot topic not just for athletes but for society in general, and Robinson says negative comments from faceless keyboard warriors can lead to extreme outcomes.
“I can’t speak highly enough of the people who have supported me,” Robinson said.
“It shows that I do have such an amazing group of people around me, but it’s also people I don’t know who have reached out.
“I’ve had athletes from all other codes supporting me, but also supporting the current situation and that it’s an important topic to talk about.
“We need to change people’s mindsets on how they talk on social media. It was such bad timing because it happened around the time of Paul Green’s death and there was such a big focus on mental health.
“Stuff like this can trigger people.
“I’m lucky because I know I wouldn’t go down that road, but these people who are posting stuff have no idea how others are going to react. You can’t just go trolling people on social media because you don’t know what’s going on in their lives.
“I’m proud of myself and I’m never going to change for anyone.”
Robinson fought back tears during the chat, but she was all smiles as she spoke about how honored she was to be part of the Jillaroos’ squad for the World Cup.
The winger has triple checked her passport as she prepares to head overseas for the first time, just four years after she started playing rugby league.