‘I Would Hate To Take My Kids To The Footy’: Travis Varcoe Slams Racism In AFL

On Thursday night, several members of the I’m A Celebrity cast opened up about their experiences with trolling.

While speaking to Grant Denyer in the camp, the former Collingwood player admitted that he had been a victim of racist trolling throughout his career.

“I can deal with people going, ‘Oh you’re a terrible player’ or whatever but as soon as it crosses over into personal attacks, nup,” Travis said.

Though he added his time in the sport allowed him to develop a “thick skin”, he admitted he would “absolutely hate” to bring his kids to a game.

Detailing racist insults hurled at him and Facebook pages set-up to troll him, Travis told Grant, “For me, I would hate to take my kids to the footy”.

“It hurts. It bloody hurts… but you sort of got to try and think it’s no reflection on you,” adding that the lack of accountability on social media platforms is part of the problem.

“When there’s personal attacks and your partner or your kids have to read it, it breaks your heart. It’s quite difficult to talk about it because you don’t want to see your loved ones go through something like that,” Travis said.

Later, Abbie Chatfield spoke about her experiences following her time on The Bachelor, when she was trolled extensively on social media.

“You can’t even really comprehend how many messages and the aggression in these messages that you can receive just from being on a TV show,” Abbie said.

Though in camp Abbie said the trolling had lessened over time, on Instagram it’s a different story.

After Sunday’s premiere, Abbie was once again bombarded with tweets, messages, and comments.

In response, Abbie wrote on her Instagram story, “Half of Twitter hates me, half of Twitter loves me. I see you xxx.”

On why she decides to often engage with trolls and hateful comments, Abbie told her campmates, “I reply because then other girls who watch my comments see how to reply to people.”

“You think you won’t care what Maria from Wagga Wagga is saying to you,” she later said in the Tok Tokkie, “but when you see those words every day it’s really, really damaging.”


Similarly, Jack Vidgen explained that he has had to deal with trolling since he was just 14-years-old when he appeared on Australia’s Got Talent.

Stepping out of the spotlight for some time, Jack recently appeared on The Voice Australia where the trolling began all over again.

“Trolling for me has happened ever since I was 14 on AGT and especially when The Voice happened when everyone kind of saw how I looked as a kind of grown up with a bit of…” he said, gesturing cosmetic surgery needles.

“People really went in,” Jack continued, “and they went in really hard.”


After hearing about his experiences Abbie later said in the Tok Tokkie how it broke her heart.

“Particularly because he would have been trolled from when he was a kid. Like, I was 23 when I started getting trolled, I was pretty okay. But Jack being a kid when he would have started to get that attention, that trolling, and still having it to this day.

“I understand why he’s so like, ‘I have to just block it out’. I totally get it.”

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