Matildas defender Ellie Carpenter has opened up on the horrific abuse she copped from online trolls, following Australia's loss to England in the Women's World Cup semi-finals in August. Carpenter captured hearts and minds around the country after playing a key part in the Matildas' dream run to the last-four of the tournament.
However, the live-wire defender was subjected to a torrent of abuse from online trolls, following an unfortunate mistake that proved costly in Australia's 3-1 defeat to England. Carpenter was at fault for England's second goal when she failed to clear the ball as Lauren Hemp scooted in behind her and slotted it past the goalkeeper to make it 2-1.
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The unfortunate incident came moments after Sam Kerr's wonder goal had fired the Matildas level, sparking pandemonium around the country. Following Australia's defeat, Carpenter took the brunt of public outrage and was forced to limit comments on her social media after trolls took aim at her performance.
It's a mistake at the back from Australia and England hit the lead! 🦁
Ellie Carpenter can't clear. Lauren Hemp makes them play.
Watch 📲 https://t.co/ld3UegzwLk #FIFAWWC #OptusSport pic.twitter.com/nfVwdQBAXw
— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) August 16, 2023
Ellie Carpenter abuse 'disgusting' and 'vile'
Socceroos great and commentator Craig Foster labelled the treatment of Carpenter "disgusting" and many other football fans hit out at the "vile" actions of so-called Australian fans. Kerr was among many of Carpenter's teammates to condemn the abuse and throw their support behind Carpenter, who has opened up on ugly saga ahead of Australia's opening Olympic Games qualifier against Iran in Perth on Thursday.
"You see it everywhere, in different leagues and different sports codes as well," she said. "Obviously it's a problem. And I know a lot of people are trying to make apps and platforms to try and stop abuse and things like that, so that's good that people are aware of it and are trying to change it."
Carpenter admits that copping abuse is sadly part of what it means to be a professional athlete in this day and age. The 23-year-old says while it is an unfortunate reality, she has learned to block out the negativity and won't allow it to affect her.
We’re all here for you, Ellie Carpenter. The vile, gutless trolls do not represent what Australia knows - you are a brilliant ambassador & hero & we’ve loved everything you & @TheMatildas have shared with us throughout #FIFAWWC 💚💛 @minerva_network @CarpenterEllie https://t.co/QCNOltI9Hn
— sam mostyn (@sammostyn) August 18, 2023
Ellie Carpenter won't let abuse affect her
"To be honest, I don't really read or look into that," she added. "For me, it doesn't really affect me at all. I do a job for my team and myself. It (social media abuse) is everywhere these days. And that just shows that the bigger you are or the bigger you get, the more criticism you get.
"I had a great support system around me during that time and just during the whole World Cup really. But it's just what it is. Like I said the bigger you are the more you get."
Carpenter has flown back home from France, where she is a mainstay for club side Lyon. The defender said that while the heartbreak of exiting at the World Cup semi-final stage with the Matildas hurt, the beauty was that most of the players didn't have time to dwell on it before resuming their club duties around the world.
"You don't really have much ... downtime, just straight into a new season," she said. "You don't really have time to reflect and stop for a second, but I think it has been incredible to see the aftermath of the World Cup and what we have done in football in Australia and for women as well.
"I had a week off or so after the tournament and honestly didn't do anything, just chilled. And I guess that's our life - we can't really stop because you have your season starting two weeks after the World Cup and you have big games.
"It's just the life of the professional athlete." The Matildas, after meeting Iran on Thursday night, play the Philippines on Sunday and Chinese Taipei on November 1.
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