Hope Solo Should Stick with Her Guns in Chastain Controversy

Bryan GoldbergSenior Writer IJuly 30, 2012

Hope Solo, cooling down.
Hope Solo, cooling down.George Frey/Getty Images

I'm flying with Solo!

Too many people in the media have condemned or expressed disappointment in Hope Solo following her angry tweets aimed at Brandi Chastain. 

The most recent has come in the form of a melodramatic, passive-aggressive, hypocritical and, in my opinion, very cowardly opinion issued by Julie Foudy at ESPN.

She writes:

"My initial reaction when I read the tweets? Sadness. Not anger, not outrage, just an overwhelming sense of sadness."

Julie Foudy should be sad about many things in the world today. I can think of many tragedies that have taken place in the last month alone. Hope Solo's frustration at Brandi Chastain is not a cause for sadness. 

Ms. Foudy hypocritically complains that Hope Solo has drawn attention away from the women's soccer performance, yet doesn't blame the media for choosing which stories to cover. If the media thinks that more fans care about squabbling than they do soccer, well then, that is the media's prerogative. Don't blame Solo for the attention being showered upon her. 

...And, for the love of all that is sacred, Ms. Foudy, don't use your pen and microphone to complain about how other writers are using their pens and microphones. Talk about ridiculous. 

As for the 'controversy' itself?

Give me a break.

Hope Solo's tweets, which have been reproduced to the point of making me queasy, were pointed and saucy. But they weren't perverse or in any way outrageous.

Let's all call this what it is—Hope Solo is being held to a ridiculous double-standard, because she is a woman who plays a sport that is popular with young girls. 

How often does an NBA or NFL star tweet something obscene? Almost daily. 

But when a woman with a large fanbase of 12-year-olds gets frustrated with color commentary? All hell breaks lose.

And this begs yet another question...

Should athletes be able to refute the criticism that they receive from these highly-paid pundits?

Why shouldn't Brandi Chastain be held to some scrutiny? Ms. Chastain is free to say what she wants in the public forum, and so too is Hope Solo.

That is what both of them signed up for when they chose a career that is carried out in front of millions of people. If they wanted privacy, then they should have gone to law school. 

Hopefully this story ends in time for the women to win their gold medal. But if not, at least a few honest journalists should come forward and support Hope Solo. Not because they necessarily agree with her argument, but because they agree with her right to say it.