Hope Solo suspended for 'cowards' remark
- Author: Julie Sanders Sep 07, 2016,
Sep 07, 2016, 8:09
U.S. Soccer Wednesday banned goalkeeper Hope Solo, a member of the Seattle Reign, former University of Washington star and long-time Kirkland resident, for six months from the national women's team for what the organization described as " conduct that is counter to the organization's principles". We expect all of our representatives to honor those principals with no exceptions.
As a result, Hope will not be eligible for the team until February of 2017. US Soccer president Sunil Gulati labelled her comments as "unacceptable".
Solo previously received a one-month suspension by U.S. Soccer in January 2015, for an unspecified reason but following an incident which resulted in a DUI charge for her husband, ex-NFL player Jerramy Stevens, while she was a passenger.
She was forced to apologize, but the squad said she wasn't honest enough and refused to allow her to play in the third-place game. She said she was upset by their strategy during the game. "They played more attacking football than we did".
Solo called Sweden a "bunch of cowards" after the Swedes beat the USA 4-3 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in the quarter-finals of the 2016 Olympic tournament in Rio de Janeiro.
Solo said in a short statement that she was "saddened" by US Soccer's decision to ban her. "And I will continue to pursue these causes with the same unrelenting passion with which I play the game".
But Rich Nichols, from the general counsel of the women's national team's players' association, said the suspension was "excessive, unprecedented, disproportionate and a violation of Ms Solo's First Amendment Rights".
Solo won her second straight Golden Glove Award for the best goalkeeper at the FIFA Women's World Cup a year ago.
"She was sacked for making comments that a man never would have been fired for", Nichols said. "The best team did not win today, " Solo continued after the match.
The Swedes came through their quarter-final clash on penalties, despite Solo indulging in some gamesmanship by changing her gloves mid-shootout.