- By Marcus Hartman Staff Writer
Are we really sure we want to commit to following soccer, America?
Because the people running our best team seem to have lost the plot in suspending goalie Hope Solo for comments critical of Sweden following an Olympic quarterfinals loss.
Did Solo open herself up to criticism for sounding off? Sure.
Did she make Americans look like whiny, sore losers with what she said? Yep.
Was she justified in saying anything? Absolutely – there were presumably people asking for her thoughts, after all.
But should she be punished? Heck no.
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I’m not sure if US Soccer realizes this, but that’s pretty much the role of criticism. It helps balance out bad speech. But it doesn’t deny it from existing.
Solo probably knew she would take heat for her comments, so she should be praised for her honesty even as she put her team and supporters in a bad light.
But maybe we shouldn’t be surprised such a backwards sequence would come from a game beloved in Europe, where besides having questionable taste in sports they don’t seem to have much clue about how to run much of anything, either.
READ MORE: Solo’s time with national team could be over
Solo is good and bad for her sport. She brings it attention, if not always positive, and obviously she’s been a part of a great run of success for the American women’s team.
The folks who decided to punish her need to reconsider.
The court of public opinion has done enough.