Ashlyn Harris and Ali Krieger are superstars on the soccer pitch, and they have been for a decade. For much of that decade, the’ve also been Krashlyn — the fans’ nickname for the couple.
While fans suspected the two were dating for much of that time, it’s been only the last three years that they have publicly shared they are LGBT and in love.
On the latest episode of the Five Rings To Rule Them All podcast, Krieger and Harris talked with me about their combined journey out of the closet and the importance to them of using their platforms for good.
“I got to the point where I’d rather lose everything — every partner, my job — I’d rather lose everything than to continue living this lie,” Harris said, looking back at their choice to come out publicly in 2019. “It just becomes like this bubble, and this elephant on your back, where you’re just like, man, I can’t carry this anymore.”
She said at the time they had hard conversations about coming out publicly with their teams, as well as brands with which they had endorsement or sponsorship deals.
“They were so accepting and so happy,” Harris said.
One of the brands they are aligning themselves with today is Align Women’s Dual Action Probiotic, a brand that drew the women’s attention in part because it is created and designed by women, specifically for women. Krieger and Harris said they are extremely selective when deciding which brands to work with, and Align has been a great partnership.
Having brands pursue them for partnerships while being publicly out seemed like an impossibility for the women just a few years ago.
“I always thought that if I were to come out and be my authentic self I would lose sponsorships and possibly lose my job,” Krieger said. “Visibility is huge, and when we were younger we didn’t have this visibility we have now. And that’s why Ash and I are very strategic in how we show our life and live our life.”
The two women have a lot on their plates, pursuing their soccer careers, and now raising two young kids. The couple just adopted their second child over the summer — in the middle of their NWSL season.
So how are they managing it all?
“Good communication, and support form our family, and our wonderful nanny who jumped on board,” Krieger said. “Our support system is like no other. We are full-on moms. When we get home from soccer or training we can’t just take a nap and hang out and watch Netflix and chill. We’re literally on it. We’re making meals, we’re doing prep work, feeding the babies. Feeding the dogs, we have two dogs too. So we technically have four kids.”
Harris is living for it.
“We love the chaos,” she said. “That’s all we know.”
“We thrive under pressure.”
One of the biggest rewards for Krieger and Harris is coming home from a tough day on the pitch.
“When you come home and you have your kids there and they’re wide-eyed, looking at you. They missed you, they’re running into your arms, none of that [tough] matters. It gives you so much perspective on life. There’s so much more than playing the game.”
We also talked about the time Outsports had included the two women on a list of out athletes at the Olympics, only to find out they did not consider themselves publicly out. It lead to a doubling of efforts at Outsports to confirm athletes are clearly publicly out — And the two women couldn’t have been more gracious about it in our conversation.
You can listen to the conversation with Olympians and soccer superstars Ashlyn Harris and Ali Krieger on the Five Rings To Rule Them All podcast on Megaphone, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple podcasts and many more platforms. Just search for Outsports wherever you get your podcast.
And be sure to follow Five Rings To Rule Them All on Twitter.
Note: Align set up the conversation between Outsports and Krieger and Harris but received no compensation for the plug. We were simply happy to talk with the two women and support the company they are putting their names behind. I have personally used Align’s priobiotic gummies when I was having an issue and was impressed with the product. — Cyd Zeigler