Yanno it’s really shitty for Ashlyn to always have so much hate in her mentions but also imagine how it is for ali to always see ash being torn down and overlooked… like ali sees first hand the blood, sweat and tears that ash puts in and alis been there for so many moments of disappointment and injury. Like ali has to see the person she loves fight through so much adversity and never get the credit she deserves. Ashlyn can’t even win save of the week or save a freaking PK without someone coming at her and saying she’s overrated or trash or some shit…. Im just tired of it and ali and ash deserve so much better. I wouldn’t blame them if they took a step back from SM because the ‘fans’ and trolls have just gotten out of hand, it’s so awful and it needs to stop
Honestly, I never even thought about how much it would affect AK. Like, Ash has learned to brush it off/block out the noise, etc., but I can’t imagine how much anger and hurt AK feels watching her wife get torn apart over every little thing she does (and even things she doesn’t do). Like to be the woman who stands beside Ash, day in and day out, watching as she throws everything she has into the game, from her body to her mind, and never get the recognition or appreciation from anyone, regardless of whether they’re the federation or “fans”. She’s given the national teams (youth and senior combined) more than half her life, given everything to the Pride even when other players fail to show up or do the same, keeps her head down and doesn’t complain or get mad (unless at herself), and she is grateful and humble in every opportunity she does get on the field.
I especially think back to 2016, when distance came into it and Ash was becoming lowkey concerning with how many depressing tweets and IG posts she would make, and I remember that one post AK retweeted which was like “you matter to me” or something after Ash posted that long post about her self-worth and mental health. She’s always worn her heart on her sleeve and it’s taken advantage of by so many people (again, the “give an inch, take a mile” phrase Ash mentioned really sticks with me here). She is so selfless and has a massive heart under her hard exterior, and people love to paint her to be this self-indulgent, vain, supervillain that is shit at soccer. Not to mention, Ash could barely celebrate her best season because those were the years AK was kicked off the roster and she put herself aside to help AK train, supported her coaching career, and picked her up (literally at times) to get her through every day. She wasn’t the nicest person to Ash back then either, and I doubt Ash minded, because at the end of the day Ash cares so deeply about her family, about her relationships, that soccer takes a back seat for so much of it. She’s said it so many times that this is her career, but it doesn’t bleed into her family life. I feel gutted for her in every interview when she beats herself up with the “I’ve failed miserably” or the “I haven’t been the best daughter/sister/friend” or even “I’ve disappointed a lot of people”. She is so hard on herself and yet is still so kind to others. This is the same woman who’s faced countless criticism, countless struggles from poverty to addiction to injuries to mental health challenges, and she still treats every day like a gift, not a burden.
I think the thing that gets me the most about this Ash slander is how no one has ever stood up for her. She’s gotten all this hate, all of this criticism, but when AK was dropped from the team, she got support. When Hope said what she said, Carli spoke up for her. Whenever a teammate gets down in the dirt, Ash defends them. She spoke out against H*nkle and the homophobia. She defended AK when she was left off the roster (though more subtle and more professionally). Like she’s always standing up for others, being the big guy for the little guy, and yet no one really extends the same thing back to her (except now AK, and again in a very professional way). Should Ash be #1? No, things happened and she got injured at the wrong time and it was all a mix of different things, but she made her peace with it. She doesn’t tell the media that it’s disrespectful she got snubbed - she instead supports the crap out of Alyssa/AD/Jane and wants them to succeed because she’s a team player, not an individual player. She cares about them as humans and would do anything for them in that supporting role. You could genuinely not ask for a better teammate than Ash.
I don’t know how AK does it, watching the woman she loves get bullied on social media and be cast aside from opportunities with no valid reason. Every achievement Ash has is overshadowed by rabid fans either “defending her” and making things worse by making her look out to be an untouchable God of some sort, or the anti-Ashlyn “fans” who are just out to replay that same clip of her conceded goal from that Romania game, or outright saying disgusting and nasty things to her (and tagging her?? Like why the fuck are you tagging them in it, what bullshit). Both ways it’s terrible; the people defending her so violently only make her look worse and it only encourages people’s hatred of her or disrespect of her actual ability.
It’s so funny people weave all these storylines and narratives for her but Ash remains unbothered (at least publicly) and I think this irritates those morons into posting more frequently with the intent to grab her attention or get her to talk back (which she is far too professional and compassionate to do). It’s a shitty situation all around, but it’s truly depressing to watch her get taken apart when she’s done absolutely nothing wrong to any of those people.