Commentary: Abuse is abuse and not acceptable

Jolene Nacapuy, Sports Editor
Jolene Nacapuy, Sports Editor

Athletes are public figures. They should be role models and should not be allowed to play when they have criminal charges pending, whether they are women or men.

I think when someone, especially an athlete, is arrested for any violent act, they should be on the sidelines, benched, not allowed to be on the court or field until the situation is sorted out.

Hope Solo, the star goalkeeper for the U.S. women’s national soccer team since 2000, is on trial for two misdemeanor counts of fourth-degree domestic violence.

Solo allegedly tackled and punched her 17-year-old nephew and attacked her half-sister, after she tried to get in between them on June 21 at a family gathering.

On Aug. 11, Solo pleaded not guilty in Municipal Court in Kirkland Washington to gross-misdemeanor charges related to the incident.

Abuse in all types of forms, such as verbal and physical, is unacceptable and I feel that it is wrong for Hope Solo to be allowed to be playing.

Although there was no video posted about Solo’s incident, like Ray Rice, whose video went viral on Sept. 8, it is still not okay for her to be on the team with no suspension whatsoever for the police report that was filed.

It is not fair that although she maintains her innocence and is still waiting for her scheduled trial that she is out on the field like nothing is wrong, while other athletes, such as NFL stars are suspended and not allowed to play.

For the NFL, there is a new six-game suspension for first-time domestic abusers.

It is twice as harsh as the NFL’s previous record for a domestic violence–related suspension.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Michael Pittman was suspended for three games after he pled guilty and served jail time in 2004 after ramming his SUV into a car carrying his wife and their 2-year-old son.

Players like the Carolina Panthers’ Greg Hardy and the Minnesota Vikings’ Adrian Peterson are benched with pay pending the outcome of their cases, and Rice has been suspended from the NFL indefinitely.

The national team and major sponsor Nike are standing by Solo. They are aware of the allegations and will still continue to monitor the situation.

U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said the organization will allow Solo to play until the legal matter is settled. Solo is expected to start for the team when they play in the CONCACAF championship, which is in four U.S. cities with the final scheduled for Oct. 26 at PPL Park in Pennsylvania.

“The allegations involving Ms. Solo are disturbing and are inconsistent with our expectations of Olympians,” CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee Scott Blackmun said. “We have had discussions with U.S. Soccer and fully expect them to take action if it is determined that the allegations are true.”

Solo understands that she is a public figure and has higher standards of conduct.

She also takes responsibility of how serious this incident is and apologizes.

The case is scheduled for trial Nov. 4 and if convicted, she will face up to six months in jail.

Jolene Nacapuy, a junior journalism major, is sports editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by email at

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