Hope Solo has been suspended for six months from the USWNT according to a press release from U.S. Soccer. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Hope Solo made derogatory remarks against the Swedish team, calling her opponents “cowards,” following the USWNT’s shocking loss in the Olympic women’s soccer quarterfinals.
According to the statement shared by the USWNT on Twitter, U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati found Hope’s “coward” comments to be “unacceptable” and felt that Solo was tarnishing the image of not only the sport of soccer by displaying such poor sportsmanship but the image of the American athlete. Gulati also stated that Hope’s past incidents played a factor in their decision to suspend Solo for six months.
“The comments by Hope Solo after the match against Sweden during the 2016 Olympics were unacceptable and do not meet the standard of conduct we require from our National Team players. Beyond the athletic arena, and beyond the results, the Olympics celebrate and represent the ideals of fair play and respect. We expect all of our representatives to honor those principles, with no exceptions. 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.”
According to Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated, USWNT coach Jill Ellis and U.S. Soccer general secretary Dan Flynn met with Hope Solo in Seattle to deliver the news of Solo’s suspension from the USWNT in person. Solo’s suspension from the USWNT does not keep Hope from continuing to play in the professional NWSL.
At the time of her domestic violence arrest, many soccer fans called for a ban for Hope Solo similar to that enacted with the NFL’s Ray Rice, feeling that Solo was given special treatment because she was a woman and because the USWNT was heading into the Women’s World Cup. Now many are wondering if this is the beginning of the end for the 35-year-old Hope Solo’s soccer career with the USWNT. Though the six-month suspension for Solo won’t affect any major world competitions such as the Olympics or World Cup as Hope will be eligible again for play in 2017, many of Solo’s current teammates including Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe spoke out following Hope’s “coward” comments about Sweden.
One of Solo’s former teammates, Julie Foudy, who played with Hope during the 2007 World Cup in which Solo pouted to the press regarding her benching in favor of seasoned veteran Brianna Scurry has been particularly critical of Hope Solo and her continual issues that bring dishonor to the USWNT. Foudy speculated as to whether or not this suspension meant the end of the Hope Solo era.
Could mean the end of her national team career. Can’t see Hope accepting role of backup GK either. https://t.co/9AFplLl1If
— Julie Foudy (@JulieFoudy) August 24, 2016
Others speculate this is U.S. Soccer’s attempt to get back at Hope Solo and other members of the USWNT who have filed a lawsuit citing wage discrimination against the USWNT.
So weird how the campaign to get Hope Solo out of US soccer coincided with her joining a discrimination case against US soccer
— Brian Phillips (@brianphillips) August 25, 2016
Hope Solo confirmed her suspension but also stated that her contract with the USWNT was terminated in a post on Twitter.
According to Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated, Rich Nichols, the executive director of the USWNT Players Association has stated they will file an appeal on Hope Solo’s behalf stating they feel Solo’s First Amendment rights have been violated as a result of the suspension from the USWNT.
SI: Response to Hope Solo suspension from Rich Nichols, executive director, USWNT Players Association pic.twitter.com/ZOPsYgSCk7
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) August 25, 2016
[Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images]