Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Slant on Sunday - Gender-Bend It Like... Solo?

I almost wrote about this case in February, but I'm awfully glad I waited.

Over the past year, we have seen a number of domestic violence cases coming to light. The most notable ones came from NFL players, such as Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens and Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings. It is a social stigma that men are usually the perpetrators of domestic violence cases due to their size, strength, and gender role in a relationship or household. Nobody usually thinks that a woman would be capable of doing such an offense. Well, it today's era of feminism, women are equal to men in just about every way, including having the capability to be accused of domestic violence.

Before you continue reading, I am going to throw up a disclaimer that I am going to be saying a lot of stuff here that you probably aren't going to like. Most of the editorial here might not even have to do about sports, but about the psychology behind this and how this case should not be ignored. If you disagree with what I say, that is your opinion, and I am glad you have one. However, this is mine, and neither opinion is right nor wrong. Plus, I doubt you're going to hear a lot of female opinions about this. Let's be honest.

During the summer of 2014, U.S. Women's Soccer star Hope Solo was arrested in Washington State on charges that included domestic violence against her half-sister Teresa Obert and her nephew (who was a minor at the time). After reports that she was drunk and had attacked her nephew--who had a foot and over 100 pounds over Solo--and later fended off and attacked her sister-in-law (despite taking an alleged shot to the head with a broomstick), the charges against her were dismissed in mid-January.

Once the case was dismissed, Solo had made an appearance on Good Morning America and spoke with Robin Roberts on how she was falsely accused and was the clear victim of this case. She had alluded to being categorized with Ray Rice, and how it had hurt her. Obert was allegedly disgusted with Solo's remarks and called her a liar about the incident. On Sunday, ESPN's Outside the Lines had broadcast reports that not all of the facts have been presented, and that the Hope Solo case is far from over. This all comes the day before the U.S. Women's Soccer team kicks off their FIFA Women's World Cup journey against Australia. Funny how things are situated, eh?

Would this be the first time she is a supposed victim of assault? It's possible, but unconfirmed. In 2012, before her marriage to former Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Jerramy Stevens, he was arrested on accounts of physically assaulting Solo, but the charges were dropped due to lack of evidence. That aside, they were married the next day. Outside of this, Solo is no stranger to the public eye as far as poor decision-making. She had to serve a 30-day suspension in January after getting into the car with her intoxicated husband and arguing with police soon after the incident.

While there is much speculation and a small amount of evidence that represents a dispute, apparently there is a lot more that we do not know about this night last summer. The case, according to reports, was only dismissed due to errant procedures and issues regarding Obert and her son not appearing in court. This case could fire up again as early as September.

As of this writing, there are no suspensions, and she is participating in the Women's World Cup as scheduled.

(cracks knuckles)

Can we all see the double standard in this entire debacle? It's like we're protecting women because of this rise in feminism. Give me a BREAK. I'm normally not the type of person to get upset at something like this, but this is quite a disgrace. She's had run-ins with the law and she's had quite a mouth on her, and the fact that she dusted herself up on GMA and with her philanthropy business, it's not going to take away from the fact that she has an attitude and an alleged problem with her temper. Plus, I could also go further in explanation by saying that she married the wrong kind of guy too if she wanted to clean up her act. He's had a bunch of allegations against him, including a rape and assault case. Awesome, right?

Just because a woman is, by primary nature, a caretaker and soft figure, that does not mean that we should be protected from the law as well. No matter whether she was the victim or not, she isn't helping her cause by getting suspended after mouthing off to an officer earlier in the year. A "Facebook apology" isn't great, either. There is some guilt in that as well. When it came to the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson cases, the suspensions were handled swiftly even before there were any court cases to be heard of. The National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) and FIFA should have more of a hand in this, as this not only affects the PR (c'mon, FIFA's had enough already), but it also casts a disgusting shadow over the U.S. Women's team. It doesn't matter that she is arguably the best female goalkeeper in the world. She has a case--currently dismissed or not--to handle, and she can only say "no comment" for so much longer.

We all know that she is a competitive woman, and she is very much in shape for her job; however, you know she might be a problem when she causes a stir during the 2007 World Cup and her teammates had allegedly shaded her for her comments about Briana Scurry being started over her during the World Cup Semifinal. Regardless of whether statements are retracted or lead to a requested apology, those words should never have been said in the first place. It's like she doesn't have that "self-control" filter when it comes to things.

The only thing that I can say in opposition to this is that Solo's nephew--who I am going to name Bob because he was a minor and his name wasn't released--is doing an absolutely horrible job in keeping his mouth shut amid the allegations. I understand that Bob wants to make it clear that Hope Solo is, in his point of view, a criminal. However, there is no need to put her on blast on social media. I know you were allegedly attacked by her, but let it be handled in court, okay? Everyone will find out without you being the leader of the blame. That's all I'm going to say about that boy.

In conclusion, much like other court and crime-involved cases, I absolutely can't stand this story. It shouldn't even be ongoing. Solo should be suspended until the investigation and court case ceases. Rice and Peterson weren't allowed to play, even though the only difference between them and her is that there was clear evidence against them. While you can't use previous actions as evidence that she is capable of causing havoc, that has to be taken into account, and she won't be able to hide from the media much longer now that ESPN has this huge beef on her.

As a woman and a former athlete, I'm going to say this: Don't protect her because she's a woman. She's in question, and things need to be done about that now.

-- Stephanie

(The base article used for this post can be found here: CLICK ME!)