American soccer player Hope Solo is at the center of a growing controversy. As reported in the Inquisitr, in June the Team USA goalkeeper was charged with four counts of domestic assault. Solo allegedly hit her half-sister and 17-year-old nephew after a night of heavy drinking.
Despite the charges, the Olympian has continued to play soccer; even garnering praise for extending her shutout record to 73.
Solo has been compared to Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice; two National Football League players who were for allegations of domestic and child abuse.
This has many insisting that a double standard is at play. The New York Times explains,
“Celebrating Solo’s achievement right now is like allowing running back Adrian Peterson, who has been accused of child abuse, to continue to play for the Minnesota Vikings — and then awarding him the game ball for his next 100-yard game.”
The Washington Post‘s Cindy Boren continues in the same strain, asking, “While U.S. Soccer doesn’t have the same high profile as the NFL, how do the cases differ? Aren’t women’s soccer players just as much role models as male football players?”
However, now it seems that sports watchers are changing their opinion as the controversy continues.
ESPN‘s Kate Fagan said equating Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice with Hope Solo’s case is a red herring:
“We are in the middle of a massive course correction within sports — within American culture — in which off-field incidents of intimate partner violence and child abuse…are finally being addressed…[Hope Solo’s] storyline seems to exist as a coda — the false reason, the false example — of why nothing should change. Every minute we spend talking about Solo is a minute we could have spent addressing one of the real problems: the institutional sexism that allows hypermasculine cultures like the NFL (and college football) to become almost untouchable, to believe they can (and should) police themselves.”
The Atlantic said some of the dialogue about Solo’s case ignores the realities of domestic abuse in America:
“In our actual history, women have largely been on the receiving end of spouse-beating. We have generally recognized this in our saner moments. There is a reason why we call it the ‘Violence Against Women Act’ and not the ‘Brawling With Families Act.'”
Solo’s future with Team USA is still uncertain. According to USA Today, the president of U.S. Soccer, Sunil Gulati, said the organization is addressing the situation:
“From the beginning, we considered the information available and have taken a deliberate and thoughtful approach regarding Hope Solo’s status with the National Team. Based on that information, U.S. Soccer stands by our decision to allow her to participate with the team as the legal process unfolds. If new information becomes available we will carefully consider it.”
Hope Solo’s domestic assault charges will go to court in November 2014. The 33-year-old has pleaded not guilty.
[Photo source: Twitter]