Hope Solo’s domestic violence case: Why her playing for the U.S. is unacceptable

CODY DUKE | Scroll Illustration

CODY DUKE | Scroll Illustration

On June 21, 2014, Hope Solo, goalkeeper for the United States Women’s National Soccer Team, was arrested and charged with two misdemeanor counts of assault in the fourth degree.

Solo punched her nephew in the face and slammed his head against the ground, according to her half-sister’s deposition.

When her half-sister tried to break up the fight, Solo repeatedly punched her in the face, according to an interview with ESPN’s Outside the Lines.

Solo resisted arrest and showed signs of intoxication, according to police reports from that night.

She verbally assaulted the officers throughout the arrest process.

In January, a judge dismissed the charges, but prosecutors filed an appeal and will file their argument in July. The defense will respond by Aug. 10.

After her arrest, Solo missed one game for the Seattle Reign FC but was allowed to play through the end of the season.

Solo is currently in Canada competing for Team USA in the Women’s World Cup.

She shouldn’t be.

Last year, the National Football League had an eventful year for all the wrong reasons.

Runningback Ray Rice was released by the Baltimore Ravens following the public release of a video showing him assaulting his now wife, Janay Palmer, in an elevator.

Runningback Adrian Peterson was suspended for most of the season following an arrest for child abuse.

The Carolina Panthers deactivated defensive lineman Greg Hardy after an arrest for domestic abuse.

Now with the Dallas Cowboys, he is suspended for the first 10 games of the upcoming season.

These three incidents were heavily publicized by the press.

Ray Rice lost his job and might never play professional football again.

The other two will carry a deserved stigma with them the rest of their lives.

Hitting women and children is bad.

No one should be in the public eye for one of the biggest entertainment industries while under investigation or trial for something so serious.

Hope Solo verbally and physically assaulted a woman and a 17-year-old kid.

She was arrested and has not been cleared of any charges.

She shouldn’t be representing her country, especially a country that prides itself so much on being an example to the rest of the world, in an international soccer tournament.

Keith Olbermann, host of Olbermann on ESPN, addressed the issue on his show Tuesday.

He said U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati and U.S. coach Jill Ellis should be held accountable for ignoring Solo’s ongoing legal issues.

“Solo deserves immediate suspension with all rights of appeal,” Olbermann said. “Ms. Ellis and Mr. Gulati, however, who have shown this condescending attitude of sports first, reality second, protect the bubble at all times, and have been the worst possible role models for and the worst possible representatives of this country, should be immediately dismissed.”

It is irresponsible to allow an athlete to perform in such a public way while in the middle of a domestic violence case, no matter how important she is to the team’s success.

If NFL players lose an entire season, millions of dollars and, in some cases, their jobs over this issue, shouldn’t Hope Solo miss more than one game?

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