Sport’s Illustrated‘s Grant Wahl published an eloquent reaction from goalkeeper Hope Solo about her suspension from the U.S. National Women’s Soccer Team. The controversial Solo labeled the Swedish National team “cowards” for their conservative (and winning) strategy during the Olympics semifinal when the Swedes defeated the U.S. on penalty kicks. Solo’s comments were roundly considered unsportsmanlike and a blight on the American reputation in Rio — until swimmer Ryan Lochte‘s fake robbery wiped Solo out of the headlines.
But U.S. soccer didn’t forget — she’s been suspended for six months. Solo has had trouble with the law in the past and feuded with teammates. She is a fierce competitor and by all accounts a pretty fierce person in her personal dealings. It’s a fact Solo herself recognizes in the statement she gave to Wahl, which says she could not be the successful player she’s been if she were a different person. That is, if you want aggression, passion and the all-in mentality, it’s unreasonable to expect that to come from someone who isn’t that way all the time. “I could not be the player I am without being the person I am,” Solo says. The same might be said of Babe Ruth, Pete Rose, Michael Jordan, Serena Williams, Ty Cobb, Babe Didrickson, Simone Biles, Diana Taurasi and on and on.
Hope Solo’s response to SI on her suspension. pic.twitter.com/Y5E5KcrECo
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) August 25, 2016