Hope Solo is facing domestic abuse charges. For some reason, she’s also not facing the press. The silence surrounding U.S. Soccer and Hope Solo has been so infuriating to fans of women’s soccer and the World Cup that high-profile bigshots have started asking questions and getting few answers when it comes to the goaltender.
For now, only rumors that Hope Solo has been suspended are floating around the web. According to Yahoo! Sports, one U.S. senator wrote a letter to U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati urging him to “conduct a thorough investigation” into what is going on with Hope Solo. The senator wants soccer to look into the domestic abuse claims from last summer and wants a detailed explanation as to why the star, who has been in trouble for domestic abuse before, is still on the soccer field.
Hope Solo played on Friday and played well. The team apparently needed her as they played a talented Sweden team to a 0-0 tie. There is very little doubt that Hope Solo is the best goalkeeper on the United States team. The problem, especially if she continues to play and the U.S. plays well, is the perception that the team is ignoring very real legal problems in order to win.
The fact that no one seems to be talking about Hope Solo is even worse. It would be one thing if Gulati would answer the letter with some sort of explanation. The fact that the organization refuses to even acknowledge there’s a problem is only going to ruffle feathers. When you start ignoring a U.S. senator’s questions about Hope Solo, things are only going to go from bad to worse.
Connecticut senator Richard Blumenthal wrote in his letter that “U.S. Soccer’s approach to domestic violence and family violence is at best superficial and at worst dangerously neglectful and self-serving.” Playing the star goalkeeper on Friday, in the midst of everything that is going on, seems to underline these claims. Blumenthal also made it clear he feels the situation is about more than wins and losses.
“As boys and girls tune into Friday’s game, watching the women on TV as role models,” Blumenthal wrote, “what is the message of starting Hope Solo at goal?”
U.S. Soccer should stop trying to pretend nothing is the matter and at the very least answer why they are standing so resolutely behind Hope Solo, then we can all move on.
[Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images]