Should Ashley be on the Dole?

I popped into a newsagent on Saturday gone, to get myself a can of Cherry Coke! The teeth can’t take it anymore and neither can my size 32″ jeans, but it taste’s so good. Anyway, as I was on my way out I saw a tabloid newspaper headline ‘Cheryl’s free to shine’! Hmmm, I said to myself hasn’t she been ’shining’ ever since the X Factor?

It’s been bothering me for a while, the whole Ashley v Cheryl thingy-ma-jig and I keep on drawing the same conclusion that, Ashley is being treated ‘differently’ by the tabloid press compared to other footballers in similar circumstances and here’s my argument why… I, like most who don’t know Cheryl or Ashley, first became aware of their marital problems via the media. I don’t read tabloid rubbish, so my source of information is often the internet!

Naturally, my first reaction was if it’s true ‘cheating’ is wrong and more so (which shouldn’t be the case), when you are married. I felt for Cheryl, but hoped that she and Ashley as a married couple would sort out their problems and be happy again. I continued to live in hope, whilst dancing and singing along to Cheryl’s ‘fight for this love‘ song. Well, it was a pretty catchy song!

As time passed and I saw Ashley become the subject of a witch-hunt by the tabloids, I began to get a bad taste in my mouth and not only from my cooking! Fight for this love, wasn’t played as much.  Again (in particular all you Cheryl-ites), none of us who are not in the Coles circle of friends know what has gone on behind their closed doors, yet most have concluded that everything is Ashley’s fault. No trial, straight to jail. I tend to stick to facts, raher than fiction, so I can’t comment on their marriage as I don’t know them. But, I do know how the media have portrayed Ashley which has been unfair.

Two wrongs don’t make a right! Ashley Cole is not and will not be the first person or footballer to cheat on his wife (if this is true) and he definitely wont be the last. Yet, the tabloid media influences people who can be led to believe this, whilst increasing their sales. I’ve always heard it ‘takes two to tango’ during my life, but when it comes to Ashley and Cheryl, apparently only Ashley is dancing!

No one can or is going to condone cheating, but it does take two to work at a marriage. All I have heard or read of  is Ashley’s failings. I remember watching a recent England World Cup match in South Africa, like everyone else hoping the national team would get through to the semi-finals. Sadly, it wasn’t meant to be! Now, every English player’s football was poor – bu,t I did hear the television commentator say… Ashley played a good game considering.

The following day, the tabloids appeared to blame the whole match defeat and England not qualifying on Ashley Cole, because he was supposedly texting girls during the game! I mean, let’s be fair. If Ashley was texting during the game, I doubt he was the only one, yet this is what the papers ran with, because it sells – on the back of his marital problems. Why weren’t all the players mentioned over their texting? Why didn’t the tabloids run with the remarks of the commentator?

It was after this that I heard that Cheryl had been seriously ill with Malaria, which everyone including I hoped she would get better with and thankfully she did. But on cue, I remember hearing that Ashley was to blame for her malaria too, the stress and so on. Okay, Ashley may have not treated Cheryl in the way she should have been, but I doubt he can create malaria. Next, we will be blaming him for the recession!

People have short memories, is wasn’t so long ago that other English players of the National Team were highlighted as being unfaithful, yet they have not had the same continued bad press as Ashley. It is as if the tabloid media have not wanted the marriage to work, swaying public opinion. It was always going to be hard for Ashley, even if he publicly apologised or tried to give his side of the story against the nation’s ‘sweatheart‘.

In the past weeks and months, I have seen article after article on Ashley’s failings and his demonisation as a human being, whilst at the same time I have seen Cheryl in every newspaper, magazine and television show in contradiction. The other day, I wrote a Facebook message about Ashley and a couple of my friends didn’t hold back in their opinion of him. Obviously, debate is good and those of us who live in the UK are fortunate to have free speech, but I once again thought.. why does everyone hate Ashley Cole so much?

It is my belief, that there is more to Ashley Cole’s hate by the tabloids than meets the eye and no one dares asks why? Because, he’s apparently ‘not worth it‘! Is his race involved? As a mixed-race person myself, with a white mum and a black dad I have never been one to side but sometimes, you have to speak up and say what you think – not just what others want to hear. I do believe race has played a part in the Cheryl v Ashley-gate, as I do not believe that if he was a white player, he would have received so much hate. For those who say it’s because he is a cheating so and so, okay if he is. But, again he is not the only player doing this, but we don’t hear of these others compared to Ashley’s extreme.

There will be those who are not comfortable with a white girl like Cheryl, especially being so pretty going out with ’someone like’ Ashley Cole, whether black or mixed race. When this person supposedly doesn’t realise what he has got or indeed what he has done, he naturally becomes a bigger target of hate because it’s as if he should have known what he had, being who he is!

The past year or so, I’ve learned that people find the issue of race uncomfortable. No one really wants to hear the truth on any subject, because it makes us uneasy as people. Sometimes though, you have to tell the truth even if it may offend unintentionally.

I got married myself in Canada earlier this year, as opposed to a Civil Partnership in the UK, so I understand the commitment that should be put into this union, and therefore I am not condoning Ashley’s behaviour, if true. I say if true, as I do not know this to be a fact and most of us don’t until either of them speak publicly. None of us including the tabloids and their editors/reporters should sit on our high horses whilst throwing stones at glass houses, as none of us are perfect. If we were, we’d be walking on water!

Ashley should at the least, if only as a human being, be given a fair ‘playing field’ (there’s a joke in there somewhere!). I’ve been wanting to comment on this issue for a while, but restrained myself as I’m not a celebrity watcher or follower in any way, but I just think it is disingenuous when I see what I have about Ashley. He’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t, so let him be. On a final note, we all go through difficulties in life and I remember Cheryl’s own problems with an assault charge not so long ago, yet she was not vilified like he has been.

This has been one of those ‘View from the Bottom’ blogs that has to be said, even if you might not want to hear it! Max.

© 2010 Kevin Maxwell Media & Performance – Published by My Mum