Video: Hope Solo breaks down in tears upon hearing about her six-month suspension
Soccer goalie, Hope Solo, was essentially fired last week from the U.S women’s national team after calling the Swedish players “a bunch of cowards” for eliminating the United States in the Rio Olympics. Understandably, Solo was very upset by the news. In a clip from Keeping Score, a documentary series which chronicles the athlete’s pre and post Olympic journey, she responded to the news in disbelief, saying “Seventeen f—— years and it’s over.”
However you may feel about the decision, some are questioning whether Solo’s punishment would have been as severe if she was a male player. While Solo’s comments were not acceptable, her punishment doesn’t seem proportional to her actions, especially when you compare it to the fallout surrounding U.S swimmer, Ryan Lochte. Lochte not only committed a crime during his time in Rio, he also lied about it. Several times. To the world. Yet, he hasn’t been punished. Besides losing a few endorsements, his career still seems perfectly intact. The athlete plans to compete in Tokyo 2020 and might be participating in Dancing with the Stars. Hmmm. Does that seem fair to you?
According to The New York Times, Rich Nichols, the general counsel for the U.S. team’s players’ association believes gender, in fact, played a role in Solo’s punishment. Nichols believes the punishment is “excessive, unprecedented, disproportionate, and a violation of Ms. Solo’s First Amendment rights.” She continued, “She was fired for making comments that a man never would have been fired for.”
In a statement, U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati explained Solo’s recent comments were only part of the decision. “Taking into consideration the past incidents involving Hope, as well as the private conversations we’ve had requiring her to conduct herself in a manner befitting a U.S. national team member, U.S. Soccer determined this is the appropriate disciplinary action.”
Here’s the full trailer for Keeping Score: