Sports

Hope Solo Controversy

With all the cases of domestic NFL violence, some wonder why it is that female athletes get a pass and don’t get the same amount of publicity.

When surveyed, four out of ten students at MC didn’t even know about Women’s National soccer player Hope Solo’s case. In June, star goal keeper Solo, 32, was arrested on domestic violence charges, according to documents obtained from the Seattle Times. A neighbor called police saying there was a woman assaulting people at a house next door, and that she wouldn’t leave. An officer eventually arrived on the scene and saw what appeared to be an intoxicated Hope Solo. Solo’s 17-year-old nephew, as well as her sister, sustained visible injuries. Solo was arrested after it was determined by police that she was the instigator and primary aggressor. It was said that there was a verbal argument between Solo and the nephew, after Solo had consumed “a lot” of wine, according to the police report. Solo punched her nephew in the face and charged at him. He then hit her over the head with a wooden broom, which broke, but she continued to strike him in the face. Solo’s sister tried to intervene but was attacked by Solo as well.

Hope Solo has been booked with two counts of domestic violence, four degrees of domestic violence assault, and has a court appearance on June 23, 2015. Solo’s husband, former Seattle Seahawk Jeremy Stephens, was arrested in 2012 before their wedding. Some wonder if her behavior is related to an abusive relationship at home.

The 2015 Women’s World Cup will be held in Canada from June 6 to June 23, with quarter-finals starting June 26. Is it a coincidence that Solo’s court appearance isn’t until after the Women’s World Cup? USA Women’s National soccer team head coach, Jillian Ellis, responded to the controversy, saying, “There was a lot of thought and a lot of discussion within U.S. Soccer, and certainly we acknowledge that these are very serious issues, but after careful thought and consideration, we just determined to stand by our decision to let this legal process play out and have Hope remain with the team.”

Is this now giving the USA Women’s National Team a bad reputation? Teammate Jill Loyden thinks so. After her sister was murdered in 2012 by her former fiancé, Loyden wrote that “domestic violence has hidden in the shadows, too difficult for many to talk about, and easy for some to avoid,” adding that it was her duty “to shed light on the darkness, to give victims a voice.”

Loyden said U.S. Soccer must set a “gold standard beyond the field as well” and send the right message. She criticized the publicity U.S. Soccer gave Solo’s recent record of 73 career international shutouts in light of the surrounding legal circumstances.

Media bias and human failure make it difficult to ever know who these athletes we worship truly are.

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