The AFL reported to Facebook on Thursday a meme that included AFL star Adam Goodes and Harambe, a lowland silverback gorilla that was shot dead last week after a toddler fell into his exhibit at a zoo in the US.
An AFL spokesman told NITV News on Friday the AFL acted as soon as it was made aware of "absolutely appalling" incident.
The social media company responded to the AFL's complaint by removing it, the spokesperson says.
"We're glad that it's been removed," he says. "But it should never have been there in the first place."
The image was posted to an AFL memes page. NITV News has chosen not to publish it.
People notified Facebook of the post before the AFL intervened but that it said the image did not violate its community standards.
Adam Goodes has been criticised for standing up against racism in recent years. He copped backlash during AFL’s Indigenous Round in 2013 for addressing a 13-year-old girl who called him a racially loaded word, "ape".
In 2015, he took leave after being booed during a match against the West Coast Eagles by the crowd at Perth Stadium.
The same year media commentators criticised him for performing a war cry during a game against Carlton at the AFL Indigenous Round.
NITV has contacted Facebook for comment.