Recently, US Women’s National Soccer Team star Hope Solo, had her contract terminated following an incident occurring after the team’s quarterfinal loss to Sweden in the Rio Olympics. Solo’s contract was terminated because she made unsportsmanlike comments about her Swedish opponents. Many media outlets have shortened her statement to say that she called Sweden’s team a “bunch of cowards.” As a result, Solo has been suspended for six months and her contract has been terminated by the US Soccer Federation.
This isn’t the first time Solo has been in the spotlight for her actions, whether good or bad. In 2014, she faced charges for a domestic misdemeanor. In the past year, she and other members of the USWNT have been advocating for equal pay, as they get paid significantly less than the men’s team despite bringing in significantly more money for the US Soccer Federation.
So, with this information, do you think a terminated contract that will probably mean the end of her career with the USWNT, is warranted? In cases for other sports, this would not mean the end of a contract.
Take NFL players for example. Numerous football players including Ray Rice, Ben Roethlisberger, and Tom Brady have been arrested or accused of unsportsmanlike conduct. While all players were suspended, none had suspensions ending their careers nor were their contracts terminated without pay. I will concede that yes, the NFL and US Soccer Federation are two very different organizations. However, there should be a standard all professional athletes are held to, regardless of what sport they play.
In the documentary "Keeping Score" that recently aired on Fullscreen, Solo was shown reacting to the news of her terminated contract. She further went on to say that she believes the US Soccer Federation is trying to get rid of her because of her work to push for better playing conditions and equal pay. Teammate Megan Rapinoe agrees that this may be a reason for Solo's suspension. Should the US Soccer Federation really be punishing players who are fighting for better conditions?
In conclusion, I agree that Solo's comments were uncalled for. However, I do not think this warranted her contract being terminated. If this suspension is the end of her career, I hope that people remember her for her great contributions to the game of Women's Soccer. She fought for equal pay and became the first goalkeeper ever (men's and women's) to record 100 shutouts. Whether or not you agree with the US Soccer Federation's decision, we can agree that Hope Solo is a talented athlete and that her contributions to the team will not be forgotten.