No hope for Hope Solo



Ashley Lemke | Contributing Writer

A recent report from Sporting News explains: “Hope Solo is awaiting trial on domestic violence charges related to an incident in June involving her sister and 17-year-old nephew.” The trial is said to take place in November and Solo is pleading not guilty.

Even though Solo had been charged for these alleged domestic violence charges back in June of 2014, the U.S. Soccer player is currently still allowed to play in the upcoming qualifying matches for the 2015 FIFA World Cup in Canada. Rather than banning Solo from playing in the most prestigious game in soccer, the league instead let her play in spite of her domestic violence assault charges.

Recently, there has been an abundance of domestic violence allegations in the professional athletic world. As I read about Solo’s recent allegations, I thought, “wow”, what a double standard.

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was placed on the exempt list and has not played since he allegedly beat his 4-year-old son with a switch in May.

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was cut from the team and suspended indefinitely by the NFL after a video emerged of him battering his wife in February.

Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy was deactivated from playing after multiple threats to his ex-girlfriend.

Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer broke his wife’s nose in July with a head-butt and was placed on the reserve/non-football injury list.

San Francisco 49ers Defensive end Ray McDonald was arrested for domestic violence against his pregnant fiance. He is facing prosecutors as they decide whether to charge him.

It is worth noticing that every single one of these athletes are men and have been either suspended, put on an exempt list, placed on reserve, deactivated, awaiting charges or an upcoming trial. Not Hope Solo. If you are wondering why, maybe I could offer some possible explanations.

Perhaps it is because Hope Solo is a woman. Men are typically perceived as being the more aggressive person in a relationship, so this reasoning might be plausible in these circumstances.

It might be because she participates in soccer and not football, like the men I mentioned earlier. It might be plausible that football is viewed as a more aggressive sport and promotes violence.

Or is it possible that Solo is merely a tool to help her team win? In a statement from US Soccer Federation spokesman Neil Buethe gave to USA Today in August: “We are aware that Hope is handling a personal situation at the moment. At the same time, she has an opportunity to set a significant record that speaks to her hard work and dedication over the years with the national team. While considering all factors involved, we believe that we should recognize that in the proper way.” In other words, winning is everything.

Whatever the reason, it is a double standard. Even though I myself am a woman, I do not think Solo should get away scot-free for her alleged domestic violence incident. But yet, Solo is set to participate in the matches preceding the FIFA World Cup according to the New York Post. Not one of the athletes I mentioned before in this article have been given special treatment like Solo has. I wonder why that is.

Media Buzz on Fox Sunday morning recognized, “This is an epidemic that happens across all industries, all genders, and even soccer.”

So if we believe that this “epidemic” is invading our society, why haven’t we recognized it and taken action? Solo has been given special treatment because she is a woman. Domestic violence has become a serious problem in our society and should be handled in the same manner across all domains. If the NFL has to suspend their players for alleged domestic violence claims, so should any other sport. These crimes should not be taken lightly. These athletes need to take responsibility for their actions. We should not let these double standards continue to control our society. C’mon people, is it really all about winning?

Photo courtesy of New York Daily News