Posted on | July 29, 2012 | 1 Comment
Unclear on the concept.
That’s Hope Solo.
Following the Americans 3-0 win over Columbia on Saturday, Solo foolishly turned to twitter in order to vent her frustrations. Hope Solo was less than thrilled with the way former American national team player Brandi Chastain was criticizing the defence and goalkeeping.
In 1 of her 4 tweets, Solo wrote “lay off commentating about defending and gking until you get more educated @brandichastain the game has changed from a decade ago. #fb.” Her final tweet read “I feel bad 4 our fans that have 2 push mute, especially bc@arlowhite is fantastic.@brandichastain should be helping 2 grow the sport #fb”
She basically says that Chastain’s comments are hurting the growth of soccer in the United States rather than helping it.
It’s pathetic really. Solo sounds unhappy that Chastain was doing her job with professionalism and objectivity. Her comments indicate that she would rather have an announcer who is as homer as Hawk Harrelson. Essentially, she condemned Brandi Chastain for not being pro-American enough.
News Flash Hope: Not everything can be sunshine and lollipops.
You would think that a figure as publicly recognized as Hope Solo could let the criticism roll right off her back. She must have heard her fair share of critique throughout her professional career. It’s odd that after a convincing 3-0 victory she would take to twitter to criticize an American soccer icon (Chastain was the player who took off her shirt, showing nothing but her sports bra, after her game winning penalty shot in 1999).
It’s ludicrous that Solo believes a little constructive criticism from a commentator is somehow harmful to the state of women’s soccer in the US.
Brandi Chastain didn’t say anything outrageous. Deadspin posted a 20 second clip where Chastian remarks that “as a defender her responsibilities are defend, win the ball and then keep possession. That’s something that Rachel Buehler needs to work on and, I think, improve on in this tournament.”
The state of women’s soccer or women’s sports in general throughout North America isn’t going to be affected by the somewhat negative observations from a single commentator. In fact, that kind of stuff is probably better for the sport. If Hope Solo wants the women’s game to be respected across the country, then the commentators have to announce the game the way it should be.
Seeing the game through rose-coloured glasses sure won’t make anything better.
Hope Solo speaks of Chastain’s supposed lack of focus on growing the game of soccer but the intent of her tweets clearly show that she is more worried about matters unrelated to that very issue. She is an ambassador for soccer throughout North America but she selfishly chose to attack Chastain in the most public realm possible.
They say bad publicity is good publicity but Hope Solo’s twitter tantrum might be one of those exceptions. If she wants to help the sport grow, it might be a good idea to show America that she is more concerned with winning a gold medal than attacking a critic. This is not the attention that women’s soccer so desperately seeks.
She utilized her power as the most recognizable member of U.S. women’s soccer to unnecessarily put the target on the back of an innocent commentator. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but it is not Hope Solo’s place to be intervening in a matter such as this publicly.
Bringing publicity to the release of her upcoming memoir? Getting in a shot to continue some bad blood with an old teammate? Showing support for her current teammates? Protecting herself? Sending out not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 hate filled tweets possibly accomplished a number of things.
Helping to grow the game?
That’s one item on Hope Solo’s agenda that won’t be achieved as a result of this.
Chris is a writer on Comedic Prose, and he also is the editor of Painting the Black.