If you’re open-minded, you might be conflicted on a lot of issues right now, sports and otherwise. Locally and nationally. GMO. TMT. Should LBJ have been MVP?
Change your gender and you’re widely celebrated, change your race and you’re mostly mocked.
You might believe political correctness has run wild and people are offended too easily. Or, you might be like me and think political correctness is a convenient term some people throw around when they don’t agree with the opinions of folks who have empathy for others.
And then we have Hope Solo.
The Team USA goal-keeper has been stellar on the pitch, as usual, as the American women have advanced from pool play in the World Cup and face Colombia in the round of 16 on Monday.
But off the field has often been a different story, and it seems that at the very least Solo has unresolved substance-abuse and anger-management issues with which to deal.
Solo was arrested last year on two counts of domestic violence involving Solo’s half-sister, Teresa Obert and Obert’s then-17-year-old son, Solo’s nephew.
It added fuel to the fire for those who believe Solo should not be representing the country on one of soccer’s biggest stages.
There’s understandably been some good-for-the-goose-good-for-the-gander talk, especially since the pendulum has swung severely after the NFL botched the Ray Rice case.
Now, the NFL is trying to compensate for a previously lax attitude toward domestic violence. And the WNBA has come down hard, too, on players fighting with household members.
So, why has USA Soccer given Solo a pass?
Well, the cynical view is that a Hope-less team would be hopeless, as Solo is far better than anyone else who could mind the net for the Americans.
Reality is that Solo’s case was dismissed on procedural grounds, but has been appealed to the Superior Court of Washington. As such, it is still alive.
The events in question amount to he-and-she-said vs. what she-said. But later revelations in which police reports say an intoxicated Solo was verbally abusive to law enforcement officers the night of her arrest put things in a worse light for her.
Soccer dropped the ball by not suspending Solo for a game or two — especially in a world where Tom Brady gets a forced vacation of four games for allegedly messing with the air pressure in footballs.
“We’ve kept Hope Solo under the radar and don’t consider her any kind of example for our kids,” said a friend who considers her household a “soccer family.”
“Even if she’s not guilty (of domestic violence) she doesn’t appropriately represent our country. There are so many other role models to choose from. The Abbys (Wambach), the Alexes (Morgan).”
University of Hawaii soccer coach Michele Nagamine by no means condones Solo’s behavior over the years — which includes disrespecting teammates and coaches and a DUI incident — and said she is “not a huge Hope Solo fan.”
But, like many of us, Nagamine believes in second chances and due process. And, apparently, Solo has been on good behavior of late.
“She is growing on me, I have to admit,” Nagamine said. “She’s had a great World Cup so far and her teammates are all saying good things about her.”
Still, this would all be easier for me to accept if Solo had sat out the first game or two of pool play.
Reach Dave Reardon at email@example.com or 529-4783. His blog is at hawaiiwarriorworld.com/quick-reads.