What About Hope Solo and Women Batterers?
U.S. women’s soccer has no systematic, decades-long history of ignoring domestic violence the way the NFL does. It’s not as popular as the NFL either. Professional women soccer players are just as much role models as NFL players are. Society should advocate for male victims of domestic violence and discuss the role of female perpetrators. These are contentions that, on the whole, most people would agree with.
Hope Solo, one of women’s soccer’s biggest stars, is still playing goalkeeper for the U.S. women’s national team. Solo is accused of instigating a fight in which she allegedly punched, tackled, and scratched her nephew and attacked her half-sister when she attempted to intervene; the nephew allegedly responded by hitting Solo in the head with a broom and sticking a BB gun in her face.
Comparing completely different events is always difficult but to not call attention to Solo’s incident because there are more reported incidents with football players is ridiculous. Using that logic, pro golfers punching their wives or extended family should not be paid attention to because there aren’t many cases of domestic abuse by golfers. How ‘serious” incidents are can be debated, but violence is violence. You can’t advocate removing it from one situation while allowing it to remain in the same situations where the actors are not who they normally are.
Football being the sport with the most reach, and women’s sports supposedly having bigger priorities than teaching young girls to refrain from attacking people out of the same respect and dignity they expect to receive from others will not play. I clamored for Ray Rice’s suspension, and I don’t think Hope Solo is too important to the evolution of women’s sports and the dreams of young girls everywhere to be held accountable for her actions. In other words, while the double standard is understandable, it’s still a double standard.