Get your DVRs ready!! Our lady love, 2 time Olympic Gold Medalist, New York Times Best Seller, Best Goal Keeper in the World is going to be on the season premiere of ESPN’s E60 this coming up Tuesday, August 28 at 7PM ET. Who’s excited?! Yeah… me too 🙂
Here’s your chance to make a difference AND purchase something hand-crafted by Hope Solo. This year at the VH1 Do Something Awards, the lovely Hope Solo received an award in the Do Something Athlete category due to her charitable work off the field; notably with PopChips and the Seattle Children’s Hospital. While at the awards show, the celebrities were asked to paint the Do Something sneaker. Here’s the link to where you can bid on one painted by Hope Solo herself:
Proceeds from the auction benefit DoSomething.org. Happy bidding!
Soon after that, the 2007 WWC happened and the goalkeeper I began to idolize disappeared but my devotion to the game remained. I knew what she said was going to stir up some drama but not to that extent. Hope felt as though she would’ve performed better than Scurry which in my eyes was undeniable. I agreed with what she said and appreciate the fact that she had the guts to say it. Being aware of your ability is an athlete’s job. I knew that was true when I was 9, throwing those pitches across home plate to ensure that our team was victorious. I knew we didn’t have a reliable replacement so I made that sacrifice for my team because that’s the type of athlete I wanted to be. I recognized that same drive and determination in Hope.
Who was truly to fault for all of the focus on such a negative publicity? Hope for making the comment or news outlets who chose to cash in the appeal of drama? Perhaps the blame should be shared but Hope wasn’t the one who spread the interview like wildfire. She said what she said once and quickly apologized. Somehow, though Brandi Chastain publically agreed that Ryan made a stupid decision, Hope is still being accused of “disrespecting a legacy that Chastain help build”. Really?!
What I loved most about Hope was I knew on some level that she was completely different from the other female athletes I had grown to idolize. She was real and she reminded me of the girls I grew up playing with. When I got hurt, even at the age of 9, my team knew no one else could pitch on my level and they knew if I sat out, we hand no chance at a victory. The answers to the questions she was asked weren’t generic, rehearsed, or calculated; it was blatant truth. Let’s fast forward!
Today, women’s sports have gained so much recognition that we have our own budding ESPN network. As a sports fan, I couldn’t be more elated to know that with the progression of the information age and social networking, women’s sports was beginning to thrive more and more. Support for fellow female sports and athletes became incredibly important. With the respect for the women that came before them, female athletes of my sister’s generation slowly but surely became the mentors who propelled my generation to greatness but for some reason, the women’s national soccer team had its feet caught in the sand of the ‘99er’s victory. Determined to respectfully create their own legacy, it’s easy to say that Abby Wambach, along with Hope Solo, and the last ’99 left Christine Rampone were determined to lead the new frontier.
Solo was able to overcome all the obstacles she faced in 2007 and helped lead her team to silver in the WWC in 2011 and a redemptive gold medal in this year’s Olympic games. The team’s time between those victories was spent publicizing women’s professional soccer through magazine covers, photo shoots, and even Hope Solo’s appearance on Dancing with the Stars. These women were commanding people’s attention on and off the field but never lost focus of the game and the goals they set for their team. That drive and determination to grow a sport shouldn’t have to be completely selfless.
In order to tell her side of the story, Hope decided to write a book chronically her life’s journey. The book painted pictures of several bumpy roads and obvious obstacles. With that, came a closer look on her take of the events that led to her allusive rant.
Appropriately enough, espnW decided to do a piece covering Hope’s memoir… or so I thought. Instead, it seemed to be an attack on Solo’s comments following one of the Olympic game matches in response to Chastain’s commentary. According to commentator Shelley Smith, Chastain’s comments about the game Solo played in were none of Solo’s business. She then stated that Solo made the games and “ranting” tweets about herself. Among the statements Solo made, “about herself”, she addressed Chastain’s distain for one of the team’s defenders. Solo has also said, on many occasions that everything she does off the field is to help grow the game and bring attention to her team. Sorry for the sarcasm, but how selfish can you be? Memoirs are supposed to be about self-reflection not a person’s impact on a team but that’s not what narcissism is.
It would be foolish for me not to admit that there isn’t a bias because there is a HUGE one but as a Hope Solo fan, it’s not on my part, it’s espnW’s. This is not the first time they’ve added fuel to a dull flame in hopes that it ignites a fire. That to me is more negative than any confession made about someone’s personal experience. How can me expect anything to grow and change if we are constantly focusing on the negative aspects of the game in order to gain attention? If we want to discuss narrow minded idea of an ideal “role model”, then why don’t we spread it across the board and not targeting someone who’s been walking around with a bull’s eye on her back for 5 years. It amazes me that this interview was released the day after one of Solo’s beloved teammates was filmed publicly intoxicated but none of that was mentioned anywhere on espnW. That player was not accused of being an irresponsible role model. Please be strongly aware that I am saying this as a huge fan for said teammate who was drunk in public.
Headlines printed by espnW read “Solo rants about Chastain” but not reads “Solo defends her defenders”. Instead of feeding into Solo’s “rant” about Chastain’s “negative” commentary, why don’t we ask the fans how they feel about Chastain’s commentary and what a commentator should do for the game. Why can’t we put a positive spin on these outcomes? Trust me, I get it; we all need to make money but what is all this media driven negativity? When did we as women, who fought so hard to get where we are, become so regressive to the point where we think Hope should “just be quiet” and “be a team player” instead of encouraging her individuality and acknowledging her selfless sacrifices? The fact that she is able to stand in her beliefs unyielding makes her the ideal role model. It is that type of assertion that has propelled women’s sports to be what it is today.
I understand that as a co-owner and operator of this site, it may seems as though my opinions about espnW’s recent “chat” are biased. As I stated before, I am a Hope Solo fan but first and foremost, I am woman who was brought up to love and respect athletes and their craft so please read this post as it is written not by a Hope Solo fan but a supporter of women in sports.
It is no big surprise and no secret that I am a huge Hope Solo fan. (Shocking, I know) But first and foremost I am a strong, progressive, and athletic woman. At the tender age of 25, I’ve been able to witness incredible ground breaking triumphs of women in sports since I was 9 years old. It was the year the WNBA celebrated their inaugural season. I remember the moment exactly. It was poetic really. I sat in a room of my local hospital, waiting to get x-rays of a freshly dislocated knee cap that I received during an all-star softball game. (In case you were wondering, I finished the game and we won. This fact will prove a point in a moment) I was disappointed that I couldn’t share the moment with my older sister Chanel because she had been the family’s basketball star but I was excited for everything the moment represented for women in sports. It was ground-breaking, a national professional basketball league designated specifically for women. It only took twenty four years after Title 9 was signed for people to realize women in sports could be highly profitable on a national level. My sister and I dreamt about becoming professional athletes when we were younger and though basketball was never my sport, the inauguration of the WNBA became a symbol of hope and hopefully a huge step in the right direction.
I was right. Women were finally getting their foot in the door and were slowly but surely gaining recognition. People were starting to realize that women in sports are both marketable and profitable. In addition, they began to inspire millions of little girls like myself and my sister to pursue our dreams no matter what our sex was.
To my surprise and much delight, the WNBA was just the beginning. I, like millions of others was permanently glued to the TV during the 1999 Women’s World Cup, sitting on the edge of my seat with anticipation as those infamous PK’s were taken. Though soccer was never our thing, we were glued to the TV. I remember the feeling of triumph I shared with Brandi Chastain as she nailed that last PK into the back of the net then mindlessly celebrated with her team. I was filled with so much pride and adoration for what was accomplished and I instantly became a fan of the game. Much to an even greater surprise, I got word that not only was there going to be a women’s professional soccer league but that my aunt was going to work for one of the teams in DC known as the Washington Freedom. The following year, I turned 16 and was old enough to apply for an internship for the team. My interest quickly became an obsession as I got to know the incredible women I worked for; one of which was one of the founding mothers of that ’99 WC game Mia Hamm. Another was a rather tall, hardcore rookie who dominated when she was on the field though at the time she played as an alternate. Her name I quickly learned was Abby Wambach. Little did I know at the time but she was on the brink of helping a new generation of women my age lead a new frontier in women’s soccer. As Abby’s career grew, I followed as an avid fan and I was quickly introduced to Hope Amelia Solo.
So this morning, soccer’s beloved veteran Julie Foudy tweeted an excerpt of Hope Solo’s memoir. The story recreates the aftermath of the 2007 World Cup Semi-Final match in which Hope was benched in favor of veteran keeper Briana Scurry. We, as Solo fans both old and new know all too well about the consequences that proceeded Hope’s comments about being benched. Soon after, Hope found out exactly how her team felt about the comments she made. I personally know all to well how hard it is to digest the word that you’ve hurt someone you care about. An unexpected rejection of an apology seemed to be an impossible pill to swallow. We all know that the story ultimately ends triumphantly but this book, Solo: A Memoir of Hope takes us on the difficult journey of how Hope bounced back. Hope is already an incredibly inspiration individual and now she’s giving us incite on how she powered through the hardest part of her life. I can’t wait to read this book and see what you all think as well. Solo’s book hits shelves tomorrow and is available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Walmart, and Books A Million. Amazon and Barnes and Noble has eBook versions of the book as well (Kindle, Nook) I will be posting my thoughts on the book tomorrow and I hope you all will too. 🙂