If NFL Players Can’t Play Because Of Domestic Violence Charges, Then Why Can Hope Solo?

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I am ashamed to say that until reading about it this morning, I had forgotten all about the domestic violence charges brought against Hope Solo last summer. She was accused of misdemeanor domestic violence in an incident involving her half-sister and 17-year old nephew. As she awaits her November trial, Solo is still playing soccer having just reached her 73rd shut-out in a game this past Thursday evening. This begs the question- if NFL players can’t play because of domestic violence charges, then why can Hope Solo?

Cindy Boren of The Washington Post brought up some excellent points in her article yesterday detailing the case of Hope Solo and comparing it to that of Ray Rice and several other NFL players who have been prevented from playing football because of the outcry after their domestic violence cases went public:

Unlike some of the biggest NFL stars, Solo, who is their counterpart in women’s soccer and someone touted as a role model, quietly goes about her business of keeping soccer balls from going into the net. NFL stars like Ray Rice, Greg Hardy, Jonathan Dwyer and Adrian Peterson were banished after massive sponsor, political and fan pressure, but Nike, for instance, has remained silent on Solo.


I suppose it shouldn’t really come as a surprise. As a society, we are far less outraged by domestic violence committed by women and there is also the sad fact that the public simply does not care about women’s sports the way that they do about men’s. I guess it confirms the shameful truth that the only reason the big sponsors pull out in cases like Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson is because of the potential backlash resulting in a loss of business. Nike, while still supporting Solo, has dropped Adrian Peterson in the wake of child abuse charges stemming from an incident of using a switch to discipline his four year old son. The news of Solo’s arrest definitely made the news but the public’s reaction has been largely a shrug of the shoulders while she was able to continue on playing her sport and athletes like Rice and Peterson are banned.

Please don’t misunderstand me- I don’t think abusive NFL players with charges against them should be allowed to play either. I simply think that women committing the same kinds of crimes should be held to these rules as well. It shouldn’t matter whether the public is interested- these sports organizations should have very high standards for it’s players, male or female. Playing professional sports is an incredible privilege and I believe that part of that is acting the part- being like Derek Jeter and setting an example for your fans is crucial. These players, being paid insane salaries to play a game, should be upheld to a certain moral and legal standard and the sponsors and their sporting organizations should drop them like a hot potato if they go against them- regardless of gender.

(Image: Twitter)