Former U.S. Women’s Soccer star Abby Wambach was arrested for DUI (driving under the influence) over the weekend, forcing an emotional apology and drawing jeers from some members of the U.S. men’s team.
As MSN reports, Wambach, 35, was pulled over late Saturday night in Portland, Oregon. Wambach was driving a 2014 Range Rover and failed to stop at a stop light, according to a police report from the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office. Police pulled Wambach over at 11:05 p.m. and, according to the police, showed signs of being under the influence of alcohol. She failed a field sobriety test and later, at the police station, also failed a breathalyzer test.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 3, 2016
Police say Wambach was “polite and cooperative” throughout her arrest.
In an emotional apology to fans, Abby apologized for failing to live up to the standards expected of a professional athlete and role model.
“Those that know me, know that I have always demanded excellence from myself. I have let myself and others down. I take full responsibility for my actions. This is all on me. I promise that I will do whatever it takes to ensure that my horrible mistake is never repeated. I am so sorry to my family, friends, fans and those that look to follow a better example.”
Apologies aside, some members of U.S. men’s team were less than sympathetic to Abby on social media, according to the Huffington Post.
@FOXSoccer must’ve been a foreign American player’s fault…….
— Alejandro Bedoya (@AleBedoya17) April 3, 2016
@AleBedoya17 should’ve used one of the team vans. Lol
— Jozy Altidore (@JozyAltidore) April 3, 2016
Alejandro Bedoya appears to have been referencing statements Wambach made last December. When referencing the difficulties currently facing the men’s team, she said that part of the problem was coach Jurgen Klinsmann “bringing in a bunch of these foreign guys.”
While Bedoya and Altidore both got immediate criticism for their remarks, Bedoya refused to back down from his criticisms of Wambach.
“Boo f****n hoo. It’s a joke on Twitter. A DUI isn’t! Might recall my best friend Charlie Davies almost died from one.”
Wambach’s DUI arrest, and the resulting kerfuffle from some members of her soccer colleagues on the men’s team, comes at a delicate time for both men’s and women’s soccer in the U.S. Last week, according to the Huffington Post, Wambach’s teammates Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Becky Sauerbrunn, and Hope Solo, on behalf of the entire Women’s team, filed suit in federal court demanding equal pay and an investigation into U.S. Soccer’s discriminatory wage practices.
“We endure just as much physically and emotionally. Our fans really do appreciate us every day for that. We saw that with the high of last summer. We’re really asking, and demanding now, that our federation, and our employer really, step up and appreciate us as well.”
Meanwhile, the men’s team is faltering in its quest to qualify for the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup, according to NPR News, barely advancing to the next round of qualifying matches and facing an uncertain future.
USA Today soccer writer Nate Scott decried the sniping between the Men’s and Women’s teams.
“Fighting with each other accomplishes nothing. It distracts from the central problems at hand. The men and women’s national teams should be working together to grow soccer in this country. Tearing each other down does nothing.”
Abby Wambach is not the first member of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team to find herself in trouble with the law of late. In 2014, Wambach’s teammate Hope Solo was arrested for domestic violence charges against her sister and nephew, although those charges were later dropped.
Abby Wambach was released on her own recognizance following her DUI arrest. It is not clear when she will face a judge for the charges against her.
[Photo by Gerald Herbert/AP]