Hope Solo has generated new controversy, this time over remarks after her team was beaten by Sweden.
After being defeated in a penalty shootout that sent the U.S. team home empty handed, Hope Solo ripped into the Swedish Women’s Soccer team.
Hope Solo calls Swedes ‘cowards’
“I’m very proud of this team. But I also think we played a bunch of cowards. The best team did not win today. I think you saw American heart. You saw us give everything we had today,” said Solo. “Sweden dropped off. They didn’t want to open play. They didn’t want to pass the ball. They didn’t want to play great soccer.”
Solo also said of Sweden, “I don’t think they’re going to make it far in the tournament. I think it was very cowardly.”
Nobody likes losing, but to say that the best team didn’t win makes no sense. The team that wins is by definition the best team – at least at that moment, unless there is some new magical way of defining who is best aside from the final score.
That being said, Solo has tried to put her remarks in context:
— Hope Solo (@hopesolo) August 12, 2016
Another tweet goes further into Solo’s remarks:
Just heard from Hope Solo. Here's what she had to say. pic.twitter.com/qnWgRirUjE
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) August 12, 2016
Hope Solo gets backlash on Twitter
As can be expected, Twitter has lit up in response to Solo’s comments on the Swedish team, including by some big media names:
We kept looking the other way for Hope Solo. What happened today is the culmination of that.https://t.co/z4jUbT9HX1
— Chris Cillizza (@TheFix) August 13, 2016
While it’s understandable that Solo would be criticized for her comments, they aren’t much different from what you can hear almost every night in regular sports remarks. People lose and they get angry, that’s part of the emotion of sports – particularly the Olympics where redemption is at least 4 years away.
While Solo clearly didn’t handle it well, perhaps there is a double standard in her case, something other people are wondering as well:
If Hope Solo was a guy, you'd have a thousand tweets going, "Whether you agree with him or not, at least he says what's on his mind."
— Lisa Marie Bowman (@LisaMarieBowman) August 13, 2016
A tough loss for the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team
Whatever the case may be, it’s a tough and surprising loss for the U.S. team, and adds a bit of unpredictability to the Rio Olympics.
Read more about Hope Solo