United States Women’s National soccer team goalkeeper, Hope Solo was suspended 6 months for a postgame interview gone wrong. Following an earlier-than-expected exit from the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Solo verbally attacked the Swedish team by referring to them as “a bunch of cowards.” This suspension comes with disappointment from both sides of Solo’s fandom. Her fans view the punishment as excessive, while the opposing side sees it as a slap on the wrist.
During her suspension, Solo will be receiving more than enough money, collecting three months of severance from her U.S. Women’s National Team contract, which was recently terminated, along with her Seattle Reign FC contract with whom she will still be allowed to play for.
It’s obvious that some don’t consider Solo’s suspension as a true penalty for her actions. Julie Foudy, a former member of the women’s national soccer team from 1987-2004, tweeted “Solo essentially missing nothing w #USWNT & allowed to play w @SeattleReignFC, which US Soccer pays for, More symbolic than substantive.”
Solo has had her fair share of incidents off the pitch, including multiple heated post-match interviews and tweets, an incident involving her husband who was driving the two of them under the influence months before the 2015 World Cup, and a pending domestic violence case against the soccer star involving her sister and underage nephew, which no one seems to be talking about.
According to Kirkland, WA Officer Voss, “[Solo’s nephew], had redness around his nose and left jawbone and a bleeding cut on the bottom of his left ear, just above the earlobe. His T-shirt was ripped and his arms were bright red and had scratch marks.” However, even with pending domestic violence charges, Hope Solo was allowed to participate in team activities fully, and play in the 2015 World Cup and then the Olympics the following year.
With similar and sometimes lesser charges quickly removing male athletes from their respected sports, the question is raised as to why no one is talking about Solos off-the-field incidents.
Solo has been a great performer for the U.S. Women’s National Team, becoming an icon for aspiring soccer stars not only in the U.S., but around the world. Solo has taken up the fight for equal working conditions for the women of soccer. Facilitating the conversation of equal pay for mens and womens national team, along with safe playing conditions for female players, among other issues.
Solo’s actions off the field have left a dark smear on the legacy of her remarkable career. Only time will tell if these actions will be able too much to allow her to have a lasting impact in the sport she devoted her life to.