Hope Solo deserves suspension for domestic violence charge

Hope Solo deserves suspension for domestic violence charge
Hope Solo also posed for ESPN The Body Issue in 2013

"At some point during the night of June 21, Kirkland (WA) police responded to a 911 call about a disturbance in the 10600 block of 124th Ave N.E. The male caller had reported that a woman at the residence was hitting people and no one could get her to stop or leave the house, according to an account of the incident released Saturday by police."

Seattle Times account of Hope Solo's arrest after allegedly hitting her sister and 17 year old nephew. 

According to police accounts gathered by Kirkland police officer, that woman was identified as Hope Amelia Stevens (nee Solo).  During a big party at the house, Solo reported had hit her sister and 17 year old nephew, and allegedly shouted that her nephew was "too fat to be an athlete."  Other reports had her injured in the altercation.

In the aftermath, she was ordered to stay away from alcohol and her sister's family. The reigning NWSL soccer champion (with the Seattle Reign,) two-time Olympic medalist, and Dancing with the Stars contestant was charged with two misdemeanor counts of fourth-degree domestic assault.  She's set to go back to court November 4, according to ESPNW. She's facing up to six months in jail.

Unlike male athletes such as Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson, who've been charged with domestic violence and child abuse, and dropped by sponsors, Solo has not been ordered benched, or even punished.

No pictures have been seen of the alleged events that night in Kirkland. But it doesn't mean the events didn't happen as reported.

Solo's in a unique position among these athletes. Number one, because she's a woman. Number two, because Solo's had violence in her life before. Number three, because she's been a role model to young girls for a very long time.

The last is the most disturbing to me.  What do I tell the kids about hitting other people? Or demeaning them?

Just yesterday, US Soccer President Sunil Gulati essentially let goalkeeper Solo, one of the most prominent female athletes on the planet, off the hook for her actions:

“U.S. Soccer takes the issue of domestic violence very seriously. 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.”

US Soccer President Sunil Gulati, in a statement reported by the Associated Press and other news outlets

As the Huffington Post points out, Solo's husband former NFL tight end Jerramy Stevens,  was arrested for attacking Solo the night before their wedding in 2012. Solo didn't press charges, so the case was dropped for lack of evidence. The couple was married shortly thereafter.

But I don't care if you're male or female. Abuse shouldn't be tolerated by any sports governing body. Or anyone, for that matter.

Solo posted a statement on her official Facebook page Tuesday evening. She says “once all the facts come to light and the legal process is concluded, I am confident that I will be fully exonerated."

Apparently, she's got an argumentative, dysfunctional family.

But domestic violence committed by a female is no laughing matter, either. According to the National Coalition of Domestic Violence:

  • One out of 14 men has been physically assaulted by a current or former spouse, cohabitating partner, boyfriend/girlfriend or date at some point in their lives.
  • Approximately 7% of those men were assaulted by females
  • • It's estimated that 835,000 men are physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually.
  • In terms of victimization, intimate partner violence against men is overwhelmingly committed in same-sex relationships rather than in heterosexual relationships.

Solo's case is a great opportunity to understand that women can also abuse. Just because the numbers are small doesn't mean men don't count in the overall equation.

And even if US Soccer is currently allowing her a pass for 'due process,' this will be the conversation from now until her trial starts. That's why she should be off the field.

US Soccer and the other entities governing women's sports need to take a long, solid look at domestic violence among women's ranks. I looked for policies governing US Soccer and found none. Did I miss them? If I didn't, policies need to be adopted, and discussions need to be had about proper punishment, fines, etc. for violence, domestic and otherwise.

Because no one should hit another in anger or for any other reason. Ever.

What do my Token Female friends say?

 

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