NEWS BRIEF U.S. Soccer suspended goalkeeper Hope Solo on Wednesday for behavior it called “unacceptable” and that does “not meet the standard of conduct we require.” The suspension is for six months, but the organization also ended her contract with the women’s national team, which makes it likely that Solo, who is one of the world’s best goalkeepers, will never play for the U.S. again.
Solo has had several controversial off-field moments—one of which recently led to a 30-day suspension—but Wednesday’s move was punishment for comments she made after Sweden beat the U.S. at the Rio Olympics earlier this month. Sweden eliminated the U.S., and did so by playing a conservative game, which prompted Solo to call them “a bunch of cowards.”
The general counsel for the women’s team, Rich Nichols, said it will appeal the suspension and termination, and called the punishment “unprecedented, disproportionate, and a violation of Ms. Solo’s First Amendment Rights.”
Solo responded with this:
Last year, Solo was banned from the team after her husband, ex-NFL tight end Jerramy Stevens, was arrested and charged with drunken-driving while he and Solo were in a team van. The year before that, Solo was arrested and charged with assaulting two family members. Until Wednesday, the U.S. team seemed to take her behavior in stride because of how well she played.