The triumphant, yet often tumultuous, career of U.S. Women’s Soccer Player Hope Solo seemingly came to an end earlier this week as the celebrated, though maligned goalkeeper was suspended for six months due to her comments following her teams upset loss in Rio two weeks ago. When asked for her comments following that hard-fought loss to a tough Swedish team, Solo labeled her opponents “a bunch of cowards” for what she perceived as a feeble strategy against Team USA. For this the U.S. Soccer committee suspended her for six months. Solo should have lobbed her comments in the direction of U.S. Soccer because they are the real cowards here.
Their suspension of Solo was hollow and reeks of the appearance the committee threw one its best players under the bus as well as the decision being rampant with the kind of sexism that permeated throughout the entire Olympic games, as it does all sports, and society as a whole. Why must a woman be held to a higher standard than a man? And if that is to be the case then why are these same women consistently viewed and treated as a permanent underclass? Forced to deal with bullshit no one dare heap upon a man. The penis privilege as I sometimes disgustingly refer to it. When U.S. Soccer needed Hope Solo they looked the other way and forgave her transgressions, and the second her behavior outweighed their need for her particular skill set, they turned their back on her. Cowards.
Solo is no angel, but none of us are, especially the countless male athletes, celebrities and political figures who act and behave far more irresponsibility than Solo did in this instance. So let me get this straight. Solo calls her opponents a bunch of cowards and gets suspended for six months but assclown pretty boy swimmer Ryan Lochte who defamed an entire country with ridiculous and damaging lies, gets more endorsement deals. While Solo is left trying to pick up the pieces of her reputation over a stupid comment which brought with it an even stupider punishment, Lochte meanwhile was just signed by Pine Bros. A cough drop maker. The whole thing just gives me a lump in my throat.
If U.S Soccer wanted to punish Solo, they should have done it when she committed an actual punishable offense. Instead they used her up and spit her out when no more major tournaments or medals were needed to be won that could not or would not be won if they did not have her minding the netted goal. Solo’s June 2014 arrest for domestic violence was clear example of this. This was a clear violation of team conduct yet Solo received what amounted to a slap on the wrist, a thirty-day suspension. But back then the World Cup was on the horizon throwing the book at Solo would not have benefited U.S. Soccer so instead of consequences and much needed aid to help her put her life back on track the committee did nothing and sent her back out to win, for them.
In their laughable explanation on why they chose to suspend Solo the U.S. Soccer committee stated her “unacceptable” comments and how her actions did not “meet the standard of conduct” they require from National Team members. Yet this same committee gave another player from an Orange County soccer league, Richard Chaplow, a two-game suspension for homophobic and offensive language toward another player. The U.S. Soccer committee is not only inconsistent in their punishment, but they want to have it both ways. You can’t now suspend Solo for “conduct” simply for comments made in the heat of battle when you looked the other way when she actually committed a serious crime.
I am not saying that Solo did was right, she used a bad choice of words when describing a defeat, happens every day in the world of sports, but she did not deserve this end result. What Lochte did was far more heinous and if it is anyone who should have their career in jeopardy due to their behavior it is him, not Hope Solo.