Hope Solo has come under fire after saying some not-so-nice things about the Swedish Women's Soccer Team. After a losing a match against the Swedish team on Friday Aug. 13, Solo called the team "a bunch of cowards." These remarks, which followed on the heels of a contentious Olympic showing, have in turn led to Solo's suspension the from U.S. Women's Soccer Team.
U.S. Soccer announced the immediate suspension and the termination of Solo's contract on Wednesday, just three days after the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic's closing ceremony. The comments were made by Solo after Team USA was eliminated from Olympics by Sweden's defeat over the team during the Women's Soccer quarterfinal round. According to the Los Angeles Times, Sweden won on penalty kicks.
When Solo was interviewed by reporters after the game, she had some positive things to say about her teammates. "We played a creative game. We had many opportunities on goal. We showed a lot of heart. We came back from a goal down. I'm very proud of this team."
But then the comments took a turn for the worse. "We played a bunch of cowards," Solo said. "The best team did not win today. I strongly, firmly believe that."
Per the official statement released by United States Soccer President Sunil Gulati:
The comments by Hope Solo after the match against Sweden during the 2016 Olympics were unacceptable and do not meet the standard of conduct from our national team players. Beyond the athletic arena, and beyond the results, the Olympics celebrate and represent the ideals of fair play and respect. We expect all of our representatives to honor those principals with no exceptions.
According to USA Today, IOC Spokesman Mark Adams believed that Hope Solo's suspension would be "unlikely." Telling USA Today: "I think its unlikely. It falls, I think, into the category of sportsmanship. Things are said in the heat of the moment. Clearly passions run very, very, very high and people say things they regret. We would just call for people to treat their opponents with sportsmanship and respect during the Games."
According to CBS Sports, however, the U.S. Women's National Team will file an appeal to U.S. Soccer claiming a "violation of Ms. Solo's first amendment rights."
In an official statement from Solo:
For 17 years, I dedicated my life to the U.S. Women’s National Team and did the job of a pro athlete the only way I knew how – with passion, tenacity, an unrelenting commitment to be the best goalkeeper in the world, not just for my country, but to elevate the sport for the next generation of female athletes. In those commitments, I have never wavered. And with so much more to give, I am saddened by the Federation’s decision to terminate my contract.
I could not be the player I am without being the person I am, even when I haven’t made the best choices or said the right things. My entire career, I have only wanted the best for this team, for the players and the women’s game and I will continue to pursue these causes with the same unrelenting passion with which I play the game.
There is no denying that Hope Solo has some intense passion for soccer. Unfortunately, that passion that comes across so clearly during Solo's games has led to some serious consequences.