Domestic Violence: Hope Solo OK’d to Play But NFL Players Must Go

By Michael Morris | September 23, 2014 | 5:10pm EDT

U.S. Soccer’s star goalkeeper Hope Solo is being allowed to continue her play on the pitch, but the NFL’s Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice have been removed from the field of play.

A FOX Sports article says, Solo was “charged with two misdemeanor counts of fourth-degree domestic violence assault in Washington state stemming from a June 21 altercation with her sister-in-law and 17-year-old nephew.”

Solo recently set the national women’s team record for most career shutouts.

However, unlike Adrian Peterson, who was banned from his NFL team’s activities, and Ray Rice, who was cut by the Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL, Solo has continued to play in U.S. exhibition matches and with her National Women’s Soccer League team.

President of U.S. Soccer, Sunil Gulati, stated that the organization will allow Solo to play until the legal matter is settled.

Solo has pleaded not guilty, and her case is scheduled for trial on November 4.

U.S. Olympic Committee Chief Executive Officer Scott Blackmun was more authoritative in stating that:

“The allegations involving Ms. Solo are disturbing and are inconsistent with our expectations of Olympians. We have had discussions with U.S. Soccer and fully expect them to take action if it is determined that the allegations are true.”

Yet, it seems that the NFL players are being punished by the media and their respective programs more harshly than Hope Solo. One can only speculate as to why.

Kate Fagan of ESPNW, joining Jim Basquil of ESPN, had the following to say regarding the perception of the NFL in light of the latest domestic violence charges:

“I would have to say, wary. I think, certainly, football is so engrained in our society and culture that it’s not to the point where people are turning off the games yet. I think we’ve seen ratings, obviously, and ticket sales haven’t diminished, but I think there’s a perception now, especially, you know, among female fans of wondering exactly what they’ve been watching and wondering what’s been going on in the NFL. I think, for far too long, we’ve, sort of, given them a pass because they occupy such this vaulted space in our society, umm, but the last couple of weeks, I mean, there’s some serious serious questions about the arrogance of the NFL and the way they’ve handled really really important issues of violence against women, other men and children, and I think this is a conversation that has been impending, probably, for years, and we’re just now getting to it.”

Jim Basquil then asked an important question of Fagan. He asked, “[Is it] fair for society to use the NFL, per se, as a vehicle for social change?”

To that, Fagan gave an unequivocal answer. “Yea, I mean, I absolutely believe that the NFL can really raise awareness and education.”

Fagan went on to say that the NFL has “always been so wary about being stronger on punishment for allegations for domestic violence or even doing any kind of education or awareness, and now we see that they’ve reached a place where they really don’t have any choice.”

Later, Fagan criticized both NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s statement and  a statement made by the Baltimore Ravens, whose representative allegedly stated, “we’re going to handle this like men,” a statement that Fagan says, “raises the question, of course, of, well, men have been handling this all along, and look where we are.”

Controversy abounds, but at least for now, one thing is for sure, Hope Solo is in, and Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson are out.

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