Hope Solo: Too unique for a double standard

It’s tempting to respond to the cries of a “double standard” against Hope Solo with a segment of “Really!?! with Seth and Amy.”

Really? There’s a double standard against Hope Solo? She said something totally nasty about one of her teammates at the 2007 Women’s World Cup, but people actually like her because of it because it makes her seem like a badass. Really.

Really? A double standard? Landon Donovan quickly moved to apologize for talking in public about David Beckham — saying the same stuff that tons of Galaxy fans were saying as well — but there’s a double standard against Hope Solo? Really? Donovan and Beckham actually sorted it out while Solo still holds a grudge … and wait a minute, that grudge blew open with something she said? Really?

Really? Have any of Hope’s fans ever listened to a sports talk show? If a backup quarterback ever said, “I would have made those passes,” Colin Cowherd wouldn’t even need a microphone to broadcast his show nationwide. He’d just stand up on the roof at ESPN and yell.

Yeah, really! And then Solo does an interview with Jeremy Schaap, and her fans gripe that he asked her about her relationship with the older women’s national team players? After she wrote a book that talked about that relationship?

Really! If Jeremy Schaap interviewed Jose Canseco about his books, do Hope’s fans think he would not ask him about steroids? Really?

And the E:60 video is all Hope’s side! Where’s Cat Whitehill? Where’s Julie Foudy? Where’s Briana Scurry? Really!

Really! And yet Hope has fans on Twitter who say the old guard refuses to “pass the torch.” The Who can keep touring until they don’t have anyone left, but Brandi Chastain’s supposed to disappear at age 40 like some soccer-specific remake of Logan’s Run? Hope’s the one with a memoir out and the excerpts at espnW about her conflicts with the “old guard,” but they’re the ones keeping the past alive?

Really! Really? ….

(This has been “Really?! with Seth and Amy)

So yes, I’m a little skeptical of the “double standard” notion — at least in terms of how Solo and her book have been treated in the media.  The Schaap interview is labeled as “contentious” — which is often Schaap’s style, anyway — and yet Schaap didn’t really challenge anything she said in the book. Schaap didn’t fire back with, “You lost respect for Kristine Lilly? Really?” He asked her to name a name that’s named in the book so they could discuss it.

What I said the last time I wrote on this book two weeks ago is still valid — there are multiple sides to a lot of the issues in Solo’s book, and the other sides aren’t talking. That’s not acquiescence on the part of the “old guard” just because Solo’s book hit the NYT best-sellers list. A lot of NYT best-sellers are political smears, and the politicians in question often don’t respond to them, either. Silence is often a valid PR strategy in such cases.

With so few people speaking up, Solo is really getting a free pass on her unflattering portrayal of players who still have a lot of fans, no matter what Solo’s Twitter echo chamber may say. It’s all her side of the story — which, again, is the point of a memoir. If you lose respect for Lilly, Hamm, Scurry and company because of Solo’s book, that’s really your fault, not Solo’s.

So it’s difficult to make a case for a double standard in terms of the media coverage. What about elsewhere?

And here’s where it gets tricky. Would a men’s team ostracize a player the way the USWNT did to Solo?

I had a long private conversation with another journalist about this yesterday, and we couldn’t think of a case of another athlete being ostracized the way Solo was. But we didn’t know of someone saying the things Solo said in 2007. We also didn’t know of someone being benched the way Solo was — starting goalkeeper until the semifinals, then suddenly yanked from the lineup.

Maybe such a thing has happened to a hockey goaltender or football quarterback somewhere along the way. Men’s teams have their internal disputes as well, often protected by a code of silence and vague words in the media. Perhaps someone at this weekend’s Victory Tour game in Rochester will ask Abby Wambach why, as depicted in Solo’s words, she suddenly thought Briana Scurry was better-suited to the World Cup task than Solo was in 2007. I’d be surprised if the interviewer got a complete answer.

But it’s hard to come up with anything that matches every aspect of Solo’s case — the undisputed starter, with no injuries to consider, suddenly being benched.

Was Solo treated differently within the team because it was a team of women? We really don’t have enough evidence to say. We know men can be called out within the team for their practice habits — ask Allen Iverson. But even if someone were to claim flat-out that Solo was benched for her performance in practice, one of several possibilities floated and never nailed down, could we really compare Iverson’s case with Solo’s?

No. They’re just too different. And not just because they’re men and women.

Solo’s unique. That’s why she’s selling books. And that’s why people are going to discuss and debate what she says. No double standard there.

Published by

Beau Dure

The guy who wrote a bunch of soccer books and now runs a Gen X-themed podcast while substitute teaching and continuing to write freelance stuff.

38 thoughts on “Hope Solo: Too unique for a double standard”

  1. I’m interested in your take on what Scurry said after the USWNT lost to norway in the Olympics “I personally still feel that if I was playing in the goal in the final we would have won it. I’m just a big-game player. When it’s on the line, I’ve been very successful.”

    She was applauded for her fire and competitive drive, she wasn’t ostracized or treated the same way as Hope was in the media, why was that? sounds like a double standard to me…..

  2. When did she say that? I’ve heard of Scurry making those comments around 2004, leading into the Athens Games, in the context of wishing she had been in better shape. I think she didn’t express it very well, and knowing Scurry, I think a follow-up question would’ve quickly cleared up any question of whether she was blaming anyone but herself.

    I don’t know that she was applauded for her fire OR ostracized. I don’t think anyone was paying attention. They got beaten up by Germany in the 2003 World Cup in a game that most of the media seemed to attribute to bad luck, and no one was focusing on much of anything other than the 99ers drive to redemption and another title.

  3. She said it after the Olympic gold medal match vs Norway when she got benched and Siri played in her place…very similar comments to what Hope said re Scurry herself….

  4. I don’t think it is a double standard issue so much as their hyper focus on what was essentially her saying her opinion. That’s the worst crime in sports history according to all the airtime it keeps getting. And she did apologize for it. A lot. Publicly, privately, and now she’s done apologizing. It’s Hope’s fault it has been brought up again? Isn’t there 250 other pages in her book? You’d think they’d run with that instead of and old topic like 2007. She doesn’t even say anything truly bad about the 99ers in the book. Besides maybe revealing them to be real people and not 2d cutouts. Mia swore once? OMG. Brandi was called Hollywood and liked to talk to her husband on the phone? Gasp. Lily and her didn’t get along. You don’t say? It’s all ruined. There goes the reputation of the 99ers.

    But fine, be pissed at 2007. Continue to forget she has always made it clear she was speaking to her coach and not her teammate. Forget the full video of that incident where you could see how destroyed she was, eye twitching while the camera was being focused on her, before she collected herself to say what she did with a shaky voice. Forget she apologized over and over again to those involved and was overly punished in the months following. Forget she paid for that moment a few hundred times already. You kind of have to forget it all in order to still be pissed at her for that. It’s easier if she’s an impersonal monster and not a person.

    She shared a lot about her life in her book and still the only thing the media seems interested in is 2007. The one part that wasn’t a revelation unless you like to look into the psychology of an introvert navigating an extrovert world. Which isn’t the angle they go at it anyway. I read her book and then was disappointed discussion about it turned into the same old boring list of talking points from 2007. Yawn.

    The talk about her just seems so overblown and repetitive to me. She is the poster child for…speaking her mind a few times? For…athletes trying to make a living doing what every other athlete does without comment? For…not bowing to the altar of the 99ers? For not being a humblebot despite, yknow, actually talking up her teammates and the sport a lot if anyone listened to what she really says? Shame on her. Shouldn’t she be able to apologize to the 99ers on command by now, right? Doesn’t she stay up at night and think, what would Mia do? Doesn’t she have Foudy on speed dial just in case she needs to confess an impure thought?

    Meanwhile give me a call when she gets busted for gun possession or stomps a player on the field or beats up her significant other or doesn’t pay child support on 10 kids or something legitimately bad in the sports world. Or maybe if someone actually reports on the rest of her life. That would be a plot twist! Might require some reading first.

  5. Tara — Not quite the same situation. Siri played 28 of 29 games that year.


    Scurry was, by her own admission, out of shape. (I actually think Hope mentions this in her book.)

    sweetbo — “Worst crime in sports history”? I don’t think people suggest that. In comparison to other sports, let me put it this way — Alexander Semin, a great player for the Washington Capitals, has a reputation as a locker-room cancer, and no one can even point to anything dramatic he’s said.

    As for the book — maybe you read a different book than I did, but she seemed awfully hung up on striking back at the old guard to me. And did you see the epilogue?

    But in any case, between my two posts two weeks apart, I’ve mentioned several other aspects of the book and the underlying issues. Yet you’ve honed in on this one point. I’m also guessing you haven’t read my posts about the Paralympics and other sports. Controversy attracts the most discussion. I occasionally try to fight that notion, but it’s still true for now.

    And it’s certainly how they’re selling the book. The excerpt at espnW was all about 2007. The promo text devotes plenty of space to it: “When those dreams are threatened by her standing within the national team, as when she was famously benched in the semifinals of the 2007 World Cup after four shutouts (**incorrect: it was three**) and spoke her piece publicly, we see a woman of uncompromising independence and hard-won perseverance navigate the petty backlash against her. **For the first time,** she tells her version of that controversial episode, and offers with it a full understanding of her hard-scrabble life.”

    I have a hard time reading all that and concluding that she considers 2007 ancient history and has no desire bringing it up again.

    Until she wrote this book, 2007 was pretty much buried. Last year, we just had passing references to it. She happily talked about moving past it with me and the other reporters in Beijing. Since then, she’s changed her tune.

    One last point to address — I certainly don’t view her as an impersonal monster. I’ve had great conversations with her. Even when she’s mad at me. She’s a smart, interesting, talented person. Doesn’t mean I have to accept everything she says as gospel.

  6. Here’s Scurry leading up to 2000 Olympics: “I’m upset about it, but that’s not what it’s all about. It’s helping the team win.”

    2003, in same story in which she talked about her disappointment: “”By then the team had been training for months and they had done well with Siri in the goal. They had won a few tournaments, won the Gold Cup, and things were solid. It wouldn’t have made much sense [to change].”

    April Heinrichs on Scurry in 2002: “”She took responsibility for her year in 2000; there was no denial,” Heinrichs says. “She stepped up and moved forward, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with where she is as a human being and as a goalkeeper now. It’s wonderful to have her back.”

    It’s really not the same situation — partly because benching Scurry in 2000 was a much easier decision to defend than benching Solo in 2007. In context, it was harder to take Scurry’s comments as a slap at Siri or even Heinrichs — because Scurry, unlike Solo, knew darn well why she had been benched.

    (Well, Solo might’ve known, too. Just not in the version we’ve been told.)

  7. Hope’s interview with Schapp made one thing very clear – she can question anyone she wants any time about their effort or motivation or bias, but no one can ever question her because she’s simply telling the truth.

    Unless you’re questioning her about a fact in her book, then it costs you the price of the hardcover because she’s not going to give you petty details.

    She’s an arrogant, entitled drama queen who just happens to be a really talented soccer player.

  8. I think Hope should just compile a list of everyone who has ever wronged her from the start of her life to date and a list of their offenses. That way, she can stay organized and won’t forget to criticize anyone who she believes deserves it.

  9. I’d watch that if it were a sitcom. Like “My Name Is Earl,” but in reverse. Or the story of Steve Buscemi’s character in “Billy Madison.”

    The other thing people miss is that Solo is a goalkeeper, and therefore nuts. The real story here is “Goalkeeper can pass for sane in a bad light.” Her entire life’s work is about being constantly under attack – she picked the perfect profession.

  10. Getting back to sports…

    I can’t remember where I read this, but evidently Greg Ryan is quoted recently as stating that he still believes playing Scurry instead of Solo againnst Brazil in the 2007 FIFA WWC semifinal game was the correct choice.

    With regards to Solo’s three shutout games (after allowing 2 goals by the DRK in the opener). A little factoid about the 2007 FIFA WWC, Out of 32 games played, 19 were shutouts includinng one double bagel. Germany went through their opponents like a hot knife through butter, allowing no goals and shutting out all their opponents. One was an 11-0 route of poor Agentina. Shutouts were routine at this tourney and the competition was uneven.

    My take on the 2007 WWC semi between USWNT and Brazil:
    The US played in panic mode after an early own goal and Marta was on fire. The result was a 4-0 route. Solo poured fuel on the fire immediatly after the game by being videotaped saying (basically) “I should have been the GK instead of Scurry” This hit the media airwaves (which loves this sort of thing). The rest is history. In fact this is all just history, and not very important history.

    What bother’s me is that the USWNT is treated (and has been off and on since 1999) more like some sort of Girl Rock and Roll Band than a sports team, let alone a “National” team. Put all this in the context of the entertainment industry instead of sports and it fils. That is what is unique. The USWNBT or USWNWPT doesn’t have it like this and they won gold too. Maybe they need their own version of Paris Hilton and Brittney Spears….

  11. hula — That would certainly make Festivus a lot easier.

    Dan — Hey, I’m a goalkeeper. Indoors. Still looking for a hinge for my Rec Specs after it was blasted off my face a few weeks ago.

    Joshua — Certainly some truth to that. Solo faced two shots on goal against Nigeria, two against Sweden and four against England (a more open game). If Solo really was looking bad in practice and missing a meeting, then Ryan could *almost* have a case. The problem was that Scurry had such scant game action in the preceding three years. If Solo had felt she had no real competition for her spot, I couldn’t blame her.

  12. Hope claiming that Whitehill told her she was using her dead father basically as a shield has been out there for four years now ( http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/25/sports/soccer/25goalie.html?pagewanted=print ). I can’t find any response made by Whitehill.
    If people were looking for a double-standard with Hope, it should have concerned the responses to her interview with ESPN Magazine about what goes on in the Olympic Village (Celebratory Binge Drinking! Casual, Consenual Sex!).

  13. “Maybe such a thing has happened to a hockey goaltender”

    Miracle on Ice?

    The Soviet coach subbed Vladimir Myshkin in for Vladislav Tretiak at goaltender after the first period. According to wikipedia: “[Soviet coach] Tikhonov later identified this as the “turning point of the game” and called it “the biggest mistake of my career.”

  14. Tretiak! In terms of coaching blunders, that certainly ranks up there with Solo/Scurry 2007.

    Now we need to know whether Tretiak said he would’ve made those saves.

  15. @Neil – Yes because a great goalkeeper who makes the saves that are needed should be thrown out because people don’t like her personality. Hmmm Brazil fan?

  16. Three years until 2015 is a long time. Did anyone see Bryane Heaberlin play today?

    It’ll be interesting to see where Solo ends up, club-wise, to stay fresh between now and then.

  17. Tretiak would have commented, but he didn’t after realizing that he could have been sent to the front lines of Afghanistan.
    Regarding hockey goalies, I remember Dominik Hasek assaulting hockey writer Jim Kelly after a playoff game in 1997 for questioning Hasek’s mental toughness. Not the same as Hope’s attacks on Chastain, but something like it.

  18. Athlete-journalist scraps happen all the time. (And the athletes aren’t always wrong.) I think the difference here is the “educate yourself about the game” comments to a veteran, in a context loaded with a generational war, in relation to the veteran suggesting a current defender might not want to, you know, kick the ball straight out of play without being pressured.

  19. “Now we need to know whether Tretiak said he would’ve made those saves.”

    In his own way, evidently yes.

    I don’t know what the source is but Wikipedia has this; “Tretiak himself stated that the move cost him a gold medal, insinuating that he would not have let in the goals that Myshkin allowed.”

    I recall during the 1984 winter olympics broadcast a piece on the Miracle on Ice in 1980 in which he made remarks to that effect. I remember it ran some video footage of him on the soviet bench watching the game. It was obvious from his body language and facial expressions that he was upset.

    I doubt he ever had to apology to anybody for saying the USSR would have won the 1980 Olympic Ice Hockey Gold Medal if he had been kept in the game. Don’t forget the Coach’s own concession about it being a mistake removing him. I don’t know what Myshkin thinks about what Tretiak said.

  20. This is probably going to be a post a little on the longer side, so just letting you know. I am a very honest and straightforward person, so I am just going to say things as I see them.

    Beau, I am not sure if you are familiar with NBA writers or if you follow the NBA. You remind me of the writer Adrian Wojnarowski who always writes these crazy articles about LeBron James and everyone pretty much thinks the guy is obsessed with LeBron. If you read his articles, they are always just so “extra”, he also doesn’t write about ANYONE how he always writes about LeBron. In some ways, Hope Solo is like the LeBron James of women’s soccer. I feel people write some of these articles that are just too much, in my opinion. You have to think about how you appear to others. To a lot, it looks like you have this weird obsession with Hope. You never talk about other players on the USWNT like you talk about Hope. My question is, is it because she is the only topic that will get people to click on the links you post and read your articles, or is it because you actually have this particular liking towards Hope? I just think it would be a little bit more genuine if you would honestly say, I am writing about Hope so much because she’s one of my favorite athletes to write about, so here’s another article. In that way, I would respect you more and what you write. The majority of the time, you come across as someone who is just obsessed with Hope and tries to hide behind some topic that has already been covered that you just have to add something to that is not really necessary. If it is the former and Hope articles are the one that get people to read what you write (and you actually don’t have a weird obsession with Hope), then just say that and be honest. My other question is though, are the other players on the USWNT so boring that if you write about them, nobody clicks on the links? I am just wondering and saying this as a USWNT fan. I just don’t get it. Are they all just boring and Hope’s just super interesting?

    If that’s the case, as someone mentioned in a comment above, why not focus on something else in her life, other than 2007, or Dancing with the Stars, or whatever? Hope mentioned SO many other things in her book that someone could write about and even interview her about. Have you even actually read the book, not just the soccer parts? The majority of the book is about her personal and spiritual life, which I LOVED hearing about and would love to hear more about. I would love to see an article about that, and probably am going to write one myself if I don’t see anyone else talking about it. Her book is inspirational, motivational, spiritual, shows how you can overcome. A lot of people found many parts emotional and cried through them. After Hope’s best friend died, and her father died, and she was kicked off the team, she went into a depression. She talks about how her faith and what she believes in helped her to stand up and overcome her depression. She describes events that Christians understand, when your faith just takes over and everything you have learned starts to make itself real in your life, and God shows up and lifts you out of whatever issue you are in. I would LOVE someone to ask Hope to talk more about that! There are other stories she shares as well that are so inspirational and have already helped so many people with their lives. Some people may not pick up a Bible, but say they read Hope’s book and it somehow changes something in their way of thinking or their life. There were so many times throughout the book where it is really just Hope sharing her spiritual journey and growing in her faith, what church people would say. THAT is the majority of the book, and also her personal relationships and living that out, what so many of us can understand and relate to.

    Back to a comment someone posted about what Scurry said after losing to Norway in 2000. Ok, if you just look at what she said, she IS saying something VERY similar to what Hope said in 2007. If we are going to call it like we see or hear it, well, it is pretty much the same. Scurry being a goalkeeper as well has to have some of that same confidence or arrogance (whatever you want to call it) that we say goalkeepers have, well why are people only making a big deal about what Hope said? It’s the same message basically: if I was in goal, we would have won. I feel Hope is being treated differently here and getting extra hate for her comments when Scurry said something very similar before. It does not look fair to me.

    Another thing, if someone has a good understanding of people, it is not very difficult to tell what type of person Hope is. She wears her heart on her sleeve, she is charismatic, charming, friendly, loves people and talking to people (even though she is an introvert) and can pretty much carry a conversation with anyone on whatever topic. She’s a heart and soul type of person. I LOVE people like that. She is not afraid to rock the boat, step out of the boat and do or be something different. We NEED people like that. It can’t be all people that stay in the background and are afraid to rock the boat and say something. Where in the WORLD would we be if everyone did that? Don’t you guys know people like Hope, who have that same personality? I do, and I also share a lot of her personality characteristics. I am not saying she’s perfect, I understand that people like Hope can be annoying or get on people’s nerves or talk a lot, or you think they are too proud. Ok, however, her positives are FAR more than her negatives. I think people that “hate” Hope just don’t “get” her. I can just tell that if I knew Hope personally she would probably be my favorite person out of everyone I know. Of course in an interview where she’s being asked about 2007 and her father’s death, you can’t expect her to show the bright, warm side of her. I am sure that what Cat said about her dad was especially sad to her considering how close Hope and Cat were. If you remember, back in the day they were VERY close. I am NOT going to blame Hope for getting upset with Jeremy Schaap when he’s asking her to say it was Cat who said that about her dad when that is a particularly sad part about their friendship. Hope is being asked in all these interviews about her father who has died, and who she was very close to. I am sorry, Hope can say WHATEVER she wants! OF COURSE, she’s going to get emotional and you do not know how that emotion is going to show itself. I don’t understand why people don’t utilize compassion, understanding, and trying to see Hope from the human side of who she is, not just the athletic, strong, tough, goalkeeper. It completely amazes me. She wrote a book about her life story and people always want to ask about the negative things and focus on the same old thing. Ask about something else! She probably does not want to talk about her father’s death and 2007 all the time, and if she gets emotional about it, that is perfectly fine. It’s her father we are talking about here! What Cat said was completely wrong and NOT what a friend says. Why doesn’t anyone mention THAT? Good Lord.

    Also, from what I can tell and understand, Hope has no issues with the older players, other than she does not like how Lilly handled the issue in 2007. You have to remember that Hope was in camp with them all already in 2000, she was being yelled at by Brandi and Mia then. She knows them A LOT differently than say, some of the other current players on the USWNT. I think Hope looks at them a lot more as people she played with and practiced with and learned from and was yelled at from and knows a lot more personal things about all the older players. She has a MUCH different perspective than A LOT of the current players, other than some. Hope was there for all of that, the post 99, she was in camp. Hope has said before she respects them all and what they have done, but she feels it’s time for a different team and players to develop their own personal journeys. There is NOTHING wrong with that, and I would guarantee you that many of her teammates feel the same way, and are just not saying it out loud, because they are probably the background type of people, not the rock the boat type of people. I completely believe that Hope’s teammates supported what she said about Brandi, as Hope describes in her epilogue. Like I said, some of her teammates are probably never going to say things out loud, that is why there are different people in the world. Hope is the type that sees something incorrect, unfair, wrong, missing some details, not complete, whatever, and she feels the need to step up, rock the boat and correct it, make it fair, make it right, speak up, give ALL the details and the entire picture. I just GET her. I am like that as well, I know people like that, I LOVE people like that. Stand up, do something, speak up for what is right! I will say, that Hope could have worded things differently, sure, and should always be respectful, however, I get the feeling that she IS, she just is very heart and soul, like I said, and those people tend to be like that. You have to look past that and see what Hope is really trying to say or do, what is her intention, she always looks to me like she has no hidden agenda, has good intentions, and is just saying what it is.

    Also, about the push from Greg Ryan and the Maks issue. First of all, I don’t think it is smart for anyone to just call Hope a liar about these issues when you were not there or even close to being there. OF COURSE BOTH OF THESE PEOPLE ARE GOING TO SAY EVERYTHING IS NOT TRUE. OF. COURSE. What in the world would everybody expect? (Also, Maks has not yet actually said it wasn’t true, by the way.) Ok, I can completely believe Ryan pushing Hope back in her seat. She says she was on a couch and Phil Wheddon (GK coach) was on the other side, I think. I don’t think it was a hugh push back or anything, but I can completely see him just making sure she stayed seated so pushing her back makes sense. I can also understand her not saying right then because think about what happened. She’s upset she’s getting benched, they play Brazil and lose, she’s shocked, she gives the interview (shocked and shaking, by the way) and then everything goes crazy. There is no time, place, situation, where it makes sense for her to say it at least publicly. She MAY have brought it up to the GM Cheryl, may have told SOMEONE, and they could have told Sunil Gulati, which MAY have been one of the things that led to Ryan’s firing. Maybe they had to wait for everything to be over. We don’t know what Hope talked about with everyone because she may not have shared all of that in her book. Maybe Hope just decided NOW in her book she wants everyone to know the truth, and you can take it or leave it and think whatever you want about her or Ryan. The issue with Maks, if you have not watched DWTS when Hope was on, please do not comment. It was SO obvious how tough Maks was and there was a HUGE issue when video was shown of him and Hope in front of two other couples where he pushes her and swings her around. He was VERY PHYSICAL with her the whole time. None of her fans liked it, and Maks has a reputation of being like that with his partners, see especially his partnerships with Brandy and Melissa Gilbert. Also, even Kirstie Alley complained in interviews back in Season 12 (right before Hope’s) that Maks grabbing her hand was so much harder than other dancers and she would say, wow, that’s so different from Maks. He does this people, he is Ukrainian, and has a tough background of how he learned dancing. When I read the part in the book about the slap on the face, it was tough to read, but NOT SURPRISING AT ALL if you watched their season like a lot of Hope’s fans did. Also, a slap for Hope might mean something else to Maks. Maybe he kind of pushed her face back and thinks it’s ok, he’s teaching dance, but if Hope sees it and feels it as a slap, then that is all that matters! Good Lord.

    One more thing I am going to talk about. The issue with the Boston fans and the racist thing. Ok, remember when I mentioned types of people that rock the boat? Ok, well this is an example of it. OF COURSE the Boston fans are not going to say, yes, that’s basically what they say to players on the field. It is not a surprise to hear about racist comments from fans at a game. As the GK, you are standing at the end of the field with people right there. You can hear a lot of things much better than others. Boston fans are just upset because Hope called them out on the racist comments. It does not matter if her friends were there and they wrote in letters, whoever it was, Jesse Bignami, the equipment guy they mentioned, I don’t know, but if they heard things too, they can share that opinion as much as anyone else. It’s not okay to yell out those types of things at games, and if I were a player, I would stand up for that as well and speak out about it. Why should a player just let people say whatever they want about their teammates, themselves, especially if it is racist? Can someone explain that to me? So now all of Boston fans hate Hope because she called them out, and now people think they are all racist. Ok, if YOU didn’t say anything, why are you so bothered by it? (Beau, you should know WHO I am talking about as you tweet them all the time). Hope mentioned the Boston fans but not who it was, I don’t know who said anything, just that SOME fans at SOME game made SOME racist comments. I am proud of Hope Solo for standing up against that and not allowing people to say that to her or her teammates. Again, the type of people that rock the boat, and therefore people hate them. I don’t understand what is so wrong about this whole issue. WHY would Hope make something up if she didn’t hear it? I can tell you that as a result of Hope saying that about what she heard, I don’t think something about the general fans there, I just think SOMEONE SOMEWHERE said something. So WHY are Boston fans so bothered, is what I don’t understand? It makes me think that if someone hates her so much for it, it’s because she called them out and they know it.

    Sorry for this very long post, but thanks for reading, if you actually did! One more thing, the way Hope is treated sometimes, I love the Bible Scripture she has as a tattoo! Beau, maybe you can talk to her about THAT!

  21. God Is Everything: Beau is obsessed with Solo? Really?

    In case you’ve missed a few of the subtleties of this site, it is called *SPORTS* Myriad, thus Beau writes about sports. Perhaps this is his public/professional obsession with Solo; his interest in her faith and personal life would have to be in his private/personal obsession with her. But it appears that chair is already taken.

  22. Wow — two blog posts in 14 days, and I’m obsessed!

    The two things I’d say in response are:

    1. Read Andy Crossley’s blog, funwhileitlasted.net, for the definitive take on what happened in Boston.

    2. Hope generally doesn’t like it when people try to guess her personality type. Just saying.

  23. SoccerforBev: I obviously like Hope and her personality, therefore my post would reflect that. I understand this blog is about sports, and therefore athletes. There are a lot of different things you could write about as far as athletes. With Hope, it is not just 2007 and Greg Ryan. There are other things, with a more positive tone, that Beau could focus on, but for whatever reason, he does not. Because he is either trying to get more people to read his blog by discussing negative topics, or he is obsessed with the issue or Hope. It’s got to be one or the other, I think. Not only that, there are other players on the USWNT that Beau could focus on and yet, he doesn’t. Why not?

    Beau: I have already read that article. A lot of what happened at that game is able to be discussed because there are different perspectives. I don’t understand why Boston fans are so obsessed with saying Hope is a liar in this. I don’t think she is lying at all about what happened. She is an emotional person and went straight to Twitter to let her feelings be heard. Probably not the best idea, but she looks to be the type of person that when she has something to say, she wants to say it. Because of the fact that there were not that many people at the game, it is not that difficult for a GK to hear those types of things. Her friends that were there, it sounds like one of them was Jesse Bignami, the equipment guy for US Soccer, probably said something to the Boston fans because of what was being said by them to Hope and her teammates. The comments towards McNeill reflect that a lot of negative things were being said that day. I understand that Hope probably should not have gone straight to Twitter, just like with the Brandi thing, but she probably felt like that was her way to get that out there. There were also other players that said some things could have been said. It’s just a situation where Boston fans, whoever said it, is not going to come out and say they said it. What I don’t understand is calling someone a liar when they are just saying what they heard and experienced. Why would Hope say she heard random things if she didn’t? She has no reason to. She does not do this all the time, and she has not done this another time. So saying that she heard all that in Boston is because she did hear it.

    Also, Beau, the majority of your posts about women’s soccer, the USWNT, are about Hope Solo. Why? That is the reason why you look like you have some strange obsession or you want to get her attention or something. If all you talked about was Carli Lloyd, I would be saying the same thing with Carli.

    Also, it is not about trying to figure out Hope’s personality, it’s about knowing some of her characteristics because you share them or know people personally who do. Hope is very misunderstood, to be honest, a lot of people do not get her. I am like her in a lot of ways, so I recognize those things in her that I share, whatever they may be. I have family members that share some of her personality characteristics, so I understand it. I do not know her personally, but I get what she’s saying. I see beyond some things, other things I’m still trying to understand. I personally think that people do not try to understand her and see what she is really trying to say, which is why she gets a lot of “haters” and people that just don’t get it. I would say that comments here and also from your articles reflect people who don’t understand others or don’t try to, to be honest.

    Again, there are many things you could write about with Hope that are soccer related and not negative and not about 2007. I would just like to see more of those types of articles to really respect what you write. Or articles on OTHER players on the USWNT also. You just look like someone who cannot move past certain issues and focus on the present when you discuss the same things, and one who reads your articles or twitter starts to wonder why you are writing about the same person and the same issues.

  24. You don’t know why Boston fans are upset? Really? Do you enjoy being called things you are not?

    There’s a middle ground between lying and telling the truth. It’s called being mistaken. Maybe she thought she heard something from the Riptide. Plenty of other witnesses say otherwise.

    As for the rest … hmmm, you say I should write about women’s soccer other than (A) negative things and (B) Hope Solo? Great idea!



    http://www.sportsmyriad.com/2012/07/womens-soccer-power-rankings-politics-and-tv-listings/ (weekly feature this summer)



    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1290803-usa-vs-japan-olympic-soccer-gold-medal-match-live-score-highlights-more (Note plenty of praise for Solo and Lloyd)






    http://www.sportsmyriad.com/2011/07/womens-world-cup-small-step-for-japan-giant-leap-for-womens-soccer/ (I’ll put a star next to this one if you want “positive.”)














    That should cover the past 16 months or so. I omitted all the stories about WPS trying to stay afloat, figuring that would be “negative” even if they were important stories at the time. I also left out most of the power rankings and quite a few other stories about the Women’s World Cup, W-League, WPS and WPSL.

    Want some earlier stuff? Highlights only …



    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/olympics/beijing/soccer/2008-08-24-solo-soccer_N.htm (a considerable amount of Solo in that one — curiously, she says she wants to play in L.A., though her book is all about StL.)

    Way back …



    If you’re still not happy, dig through more of my past writing:



    So, wait, what was the question?

  25. God Is Everything, when you say “I don’t think she is lying at all about what happened” I don’t see why that should be taken as proof that Hope is right. I am a Boston Breakers fan with season tickets who went to games for all 3 seasons and I have NEVER heard any kind of racist, sexist, or otherwise abusive language at any game. The organization would never have stood for it either, if only because the stands were always full of families and youth soccer teams.

    I am also not a racist, sexist, homophobe, or general bigot. So when you say “Boston fans” a) do not lump us all together and b) if you were not there, then you cannot say what happened. Hope Solo is mistaken in her assertions and telling her so is not the same as hating on her or calling her a liar. It is asking her to acknowledge that she is mistaken. No one likes to be called a racist when they are emphatically not a racist. I am a proud fan of both the Breakers and the USWNT so this is not some unfounded grudge match against Hope Solo, it is wanting everyone to know that Breakers fans are open, inclusive, and would never tolerate the kind of abuse she claims occurred.

  26. So, Beau:

    Any info on how Bianca Henninger is coming along these days?

  27. Does Beau even have time to research Bianca Henninger? He may be too busy obsessively updating his Hope Solo Big Board.

  28. It is unfair for the RipTide or the BostonBreakers to be painted with a broad brush by Hope Solo. Those groups appeared to not by the source of the racist comments. However the desire to demand apologies or other satisfaction from Hope for painting with a broad brush is ridiculous to me. If Hope or her teammates heard racist comments from the stands, she was correct to react strongly. During the game it would be nearly impossible for Hope or her teammates to figure out who specifically make the comments. Claims that it is impossible that any fan at the game could have made racist comments is disingenuous. There are ahole fans at any game, hell there were aholes at a political convention. She should clarify that it was some misguided fans and not the whole Breakers or Riptide organizations. But taking her broad brush to be the most important issue, is just wrong and people have been treating it like the bigger issue since the tweets first appeared years go.

  29. I think people were just upset that the Riptide claims were repeated in the book, quite some time after the accusations were pretty well refuted. (Bear that in mind when you hear the book had been “fact checked” and run by lawyers. I’m sure lawyers looked for claims that might be difficult to defend in court, but what does “fact checked” really mean? I know they didn’t check with some other parties mentioned in the book. And the promo type at Amazon STILL incorrectly says she had four shutouts in the Women’s World Cup.)

    The Henninger question is a good one. I’m looking into it.

  30. Beau, I understand that the book just came out and brought those issues back to the forefront for many casual fans, but the issue has very much been in the forefront of any conversation about Hope Solo for a couple of years now. Any time she is mentioned in an article it will come up in the comment section. This happens on soccer forums, soccer blogs or normal sites like ESPN or SI.

    I do agree that fact checked definitely only covers issues that could end up in court. Too much he said she said to cover the Beat/Breakers game to make it in court. She should have painted with a softer brush in the book if she wanted to mention the issue though. And of course bringing it back out will have everyone trying to defend the situation.

  31. The Riptide incident was illuminating. As Beau notes, “there are multiple sides to a lot of the issues in Solo’s book, and the other sides aren’t talking.” In that instance the other side did talk, in exhaustively researched, authoritative detail. All of which was established before the book was published. A misinformed reaction in the heat of the moment, while ill-advised for a professional athlete in a league on life support, is perhaps understandable. Repeating it in print two years later turns misinformation into disinformation. Extrapolate from that data point, and the unspoken perspectives on other “factual” stories become easier to imagine.

    The real thought experiment is not what would have happened had Hope not been benched at the Olympics, but what would have happened if the US had a goalkeeper capable of challenging her. At 31, with a bum shoulder, and a new coach and presumably revamped defensive lineup coming, that question is more relevant than ever. I know Henninger sustained an ankle injury with the U-23s at the Four Nations last spring and may still be rehabbing. She sure was looking like a future #1, though. So yeah, do let us know what you find out about her status.

  32. FC Pastafarian – I find it interesting that even though she continues to be a standout goalkeeper who makes the big saves that win us big games, personal dislike of her over her comments over the years brings people to call for her ouster from the team.

    Some experts try to frame the issue with “we respect her as a goalkeeper for her outstanding playing abilities, but dislike her personality and things she says” But many others such as yourself allow the personality issue against the on the field play.

    That is part of the reason that soo many people get rabid in the defense of Hope. People cannot understand why many people defend her on the off the field issues no matter what she says, but as long as other people attack her on the field for what she says off, then others will defend her comments. Logic Loop

  33. I don’t know that anyone would’ve wanted her off the team in the past couple of years. Barnhart and Loyden are pretty good, too, but Solo’s still #1. Particularly in big games — in WPS games and occasionally in group play or friendlies, Solo makes the occasional error, but she made the huge saves in 2008 and 2012.

    She’s not superhuman — count me among those who do not think Solo “would’ve made those saves” in 2007, at least not in the second half when Brazil ran rampant. But the best keeper in the world in the past two years? I think so.

    Looking down the road to 2015 and 2016, though, it’s an open question. Barnhart’s only a couple of months younger than Solo, but to my knowledge, she has had fewer career-threatening surgeries. Will Solo devote herself to a club team to keep herself sharp? Will Henninger or Ashlyn Harris challenge? Or Loyden, who turns 30 in 2015 and should be near her prime? Do you rule out Alyssa Naeher, who’s still just 24 and is getting sharper in the FrauenBundesliga? And did you see Bryane Heaberlin in the U-20 Cup?

  34. necron99, I’m sorry if I gave the impression that I want Solo ousted. Clearly if Pia hadn’t come along she well might have been, and like most I think the WNT’s scoreline would have suffered. I meant that her challenging personality was ultimately accommodated because she was so clearly the best. Pia was unusually well equipped to manage personnel issues. While the team is no longer fractured, we have no idea how the next coach will handle Hope or anyone else who, say, launches twitter attacks on analysts before an Olympic final.

    Even if it’s smooth sailing, it’s time to start developing Hope’s successor. Maybe she’ll still be the top goalkeeper when she’s 40, but her injury history suggests otherwise. All of the candidates Beau cites are possible options, and are hungry. (Well, Heaberlin’s a little young yet, but she has indeed been impressive). I’d like to see other keepers get playing time in the unimportant friendlies and tournaments over the next two years. It’s smart insurance, and one of them just might surprise us.

  35. With Barnhart injured and the USSF contractually obligated to have the Olympic team together for nine more friendlies, Loyden will get more opportunities.

    The Riptide incident casts serious questions on her credibility, and yet some of the other claims aren’t implausible. Regarding the 2007 incident, Ryan has stated that the team leaders (Lily and Wambach) supported his decision, that Scurry was noticeably better (and brilliant) in practice, and that her punishment was a team decision (Ryan claimed he would have been less severe). This doesn’t prove her claims about Wambach and Lily pushing for Scurry and causing the switch, but it does give some credence to it.

    Pastafarian- Hope’s twitter attacks against Chastain happened a week-and-a-half before the Olympic final.

  36. She is extremely self destructive and makes very poor choices. She needs to be in therapy however all of this is overlooked because she is strong welled and the best goalie in women’s soccer.

    She has drinking, control and anger issues. Good luck to her, I hope she gets help with her demons.

    Love the person not so much her destructive actions.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s