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Hope Solo disciplined for Twitter comments

Atlanta Beat goalkeeper Hope Solo has been suspended one game, fined $2,500 and ordered to eight hours of community service for "prejudicial statements and public criticism" made on her Twitter account about an officiating crew and Women's Professional Soccer in general over the weekend.

The league announced the disciplinary action Tuesday, citing violations of the league operations manual. Solo has seven days to appeal the suspension and community service, and 30 days to appeal the fine. With Atlanta's season over, the suspension will carry over to the 2011 season.

By Steve Goff  |  September 14, 2010; 8:14 PM ET
Categories:  Women  | Tags: Hope Solo, WPS  
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Comments

damn, that's like half her salary

Posted by: Pete803 | September 14, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Well, if we take her at her word, she'll tell them to piss off, and take her game to Germany, France or Sweden.

For the WPS to take any action regarding the 2011 season may be unduly optimistic. Suppose they had no choice though.

Posted by: OWNTF | September 14, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Fine and suspension, I get. But community service? Isn't that something the justice system hands out for convicted (or plea bargained) felons?

I hate when stupid leagues like WPS take themselves way too seriously.

Posted by: tundey | September 14, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Too lenient.

WPS needs the money.

Posted by: Reignking | September 14, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

I'll admit it, I laughed out loud when I read "community service."

Are they doing to male her write lines next?

Posted by: Jooseppi | September 14, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

"Community service" probably means making more appearances at U13 girls league games etc.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | September 14, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

They'll make her attend a United game... perhaps even play in goal.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | September 14, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Just right. Hope basically asked for it, and apparently never learned anything from running her mouth at the world cup several years ago. Also, tundey, you deserve a harsher penalty for your idiotic comment.

Posted by: Tony-Tony-Tony | September 14, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

They should make her become a referee

Posted by: fedssocr | September 14, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Good for Hope Solo. Youth soccer is fixed in the DC area too.

I think Dateline NBC or 48 hours is doing a special on youth soccer match fixing in the DC area sometime soon but I'm not sure if that's just a rumor.

Posted by: DCsoccerpolitics | September 14, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

"Community service"?!?!?!?

Large fines, I can understand, especially if a player accuses game officials of being corrupt. But what the Hell does "community service" have to do with this? What's she supposed to do, teach kids at a clinic for eight hours? This is absurd.

I also think that Solo's comments about Washington reflect some lingering resentment toward Abby Wambach, who's a piece of work in her own right.

Posted by: JosephDHippolito | September 15, 2010 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Ridiculous. The United States adopted an Amendment to its Constitution so that no one would ever be punished for speaking his or her mind, and sports leagues are somehow given the authority to deem language inappropriate and to fine its players as it sees fit? What an absolute mockery of the most important Amendment.

If she got in a fight with another player, or physically attacked a referee, I would totally agree with the league's decision. But this is really just a travesty.

Posted by: kdiff813 | September 15, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Ridiculous. The United States adopted an Amendment to its Constitution so that no one would ever be punished for speaking his or her mind, and sports leagues are somehow given the authority to deem language inappropriate and to fine its players as it sees fit? What an absolute mockery of the most important Amendment.

Posted by: kdiff813
-----------------------------------------

You have a fundamental misunderstanding of what "freedom of speech" means. She wasn't arrested and she's not charged with a crime, but try bad-mouthing the organization that pays your salary in the media and see how that works out for you.

WPS has a vested interest in insuring that players do not undermine confidence in their product. A player suggesting that matches may not be decided fairly could be very damaging if the few fans they have began to believe it (She said that refs were affecting outcomes because "it's clear that the league wanted dc in the playoffs.")

I guarantee you that there is a clause in every player's contract that covers this type of situation. Every pro league out there would discipline a player for this kind of thing.

And they'd be right to do so.

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | September 15, 2010 12:49 AM | Report abuse

@kdiff813 If your employer caught you making disparaging comments in the public sphere regarding whomever you work for, there would be repercussions. Solo is simply an employee, and therefore, representative, of the WPS and she should represent them in a professional and mature manner.

Its not a 1st amendment issue. Its a business issue. You can say whatever you want, but your employer has a right to be angry about it. Hope Solo signed a contract with the league that probably included some sort of clause about representing the league in a positive manner. When she doesn't, the league can take appropriate action, as probably outlined in player contracts.

Personally, I think she should make good on her threat to "be done" with the league and cool off for a while. She's made some pretty wild accusations (heck, the Riptide could probably sue her for slander or libel-I can't remember which), and I think she needs to mature a bit before she continues to play in professional setting.

Posted by: revsfanindc | September 15, 2010 12:54 AM | Report abuse

Its not a 1st amendment issue.

For your information the Supreme Court has roundly rejected prior restraint.

OVER THE LINE!!!

Mark it zero, dude.

Posted by: BooThisMan | September 15, 2010 2:22 AM | Report abuse

Umm, prior restraint is specifically associated with the government restricting free speach. My employer certainly does restrict what I can say them and continue being an employee. Hope doesn't need to do the community service--she can walk away--but then WPS does not need to continue to employ her.

Posted by: glfrazier | September 15, 2010 5:20 AM | Report abuse

A fresh start on the DCU stadium?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/14/AR2010091402473.html

Does anyone know Gray's address so I can tend his garden and wash his car while wearing my DCU jersey?

Posted by: Southeasterner | September 15, 2010 5:47 AM | Report abuse

@Posted by: kdiff813: As PrinceBuster and Revsfan have already explained it how your First Amendment take is completely off the mark for this sort of incident:

Hypothetical for you:

If Goff turned around and said that the Washington Post SUCKS, that it is a Mickey Mouse outfit that should have never suspended his Post colleague Mike Wise for 30 days for a silly (but still ill-advised)prank (coz he works for the Washington Post and is not a Sports Junkie)--a action that occured only in cyberspace, and was really part of his part time radio gig. If he said that it was all part of an editorial conspiracy--if he questioned the credibility and unbiased nature of the newspaper (ok, stop laughing. Here)???

Do you think that the Washington Post would not take action against Goff???

Heck, they might not just suspend him like they did Wise (which amounts to a big aleck fine).

Seriously, with the way that United has been playing sooccer lately both Goff and United might never be heard from again.

Hope Hope enjoys playing for Frankfurt. Oh that's right--According to Christine Brennan--that soccer expert--there is no other option in the world for an American female soccer player than playing for the USNT than playing here in the States...

It all makes me chuckle. Kind of like the "community service" Hope got.

Posted by: yankiboy | September 15, 2010 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Too harsh. The suspension is OK. The fine is WAY too much. She should plead it down to 20 laps or something.

Solo's one of the world's top GK's, playing on a not-great team against elite competition, and giving up nearly two goals a game -- a rate I'm sure she's never matched at any other time in her career.

And that call had definite shades of US-Slovenia: inexplicable and objectively wrong.

So her frustration is totally understandable. But she's a big girl and should suck it up, and leave the loopy conspiracy theories to the fans and press. And stay off twitter--talk about maximum damage for the least effect. Do even Hope Solo "followers" need to hear that?

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | September 15, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Exactly right...punishment should be to attend all of the remaining United games and sit behind the opponent's goal each half.

That is a punishment worse than...

Posted by: jbfromfc | September 15, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

I get the fine for her criticisms, but the suspension and community service -- especially the latter -- strike me as a bit odd and harsh.

Posted by: stwasm | September 15, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

I think I stumbled onto the Constitutional blog. May I legally carry an unregistered, fully-automatic AK-47 under my coat in Maryland? It's for deer hunting.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 15, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

This isn't the first time she has opened her yap(WC starting keeper) but as a professional you just can't do it and survive. She may be right but you can't say it...she is just another hot headed immature player.

Posted by: euroman | September 15, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

@Reignking and JacobfromAtlantaish: Look out for Hope picking up trash on I-75.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 15, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

If Bud Selig was the commish, Solo would get a pass.

Posted by: juke2 | September 15, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

@glfrazier Obviously, you're not a golfer.

Posted by: BooThisMan | September 15, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

@ BooThisMan, I missed the golf reference too. Now I get it.

I had to do community service once for an under age drinking violation. They made me spend a day at the county hospital helping with photocopying and basic admin stuff. It was fun because the nurses all thought I was a sweet volunteer there by my own choice. "What a nice young man!" they all said.

Posted by: WorldCup | September 15, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

@ BooThisMan, I missed the golf reference too. Now I get it.

I had to do community service once for an under age drinking violation. They made me spend a day at the county hospital helping with photocopying and basic admin stuff. It was fun because the nurses all thought I was a sweet volunteer there by my own choice. "What a nice young man!" they all said.

Posted by: WorldCup | September 15, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I voted "too harsh."

I get the fine and suspension, but not the community service. Nothing against community service but it's not like she broke any laws or offended any community, other than the "community of referes."

A more appropriate sanction would be my adult coed league does with frequently penalized players...make them take the referee certification class.

Posted by: cmjhawk86 | September 15, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

It's been suggested that she do her community service by acting as a ballgirl at the playoff game hosted by Boston, standing right in front of the Riptide section.

Posted by: kevinwparker | September 15, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Hope Solo really comes across as immature. She should take a lesson from Abby Wambach, who was repeatedly thwacked by the Atlanta players, who let all sorts of contact go unwhistled. You don't see Abby whining in the press about officiating, even though she certainly has cause.
The Beat lost that game because they were the inferior team. Yes, the Beat had a goal called back, but so did the Freedom. Coverage of this issue might mention that.

Posted by: rick_desper | September 17, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

I get the fine and maybe the community service, but unsure about the suspension. I remember last year wambach got a game suspension for breaking another players lege in a tangle, so is criticizing refs and breaking another players leg, meaningful or not, equivalent of the same suspension?

Posted by: thunderbolt3022 | September 19, 2010 12:32 AM | Report abuse

I remember last season when abby wambach broke another players leg, intentional or not, and she only got a one game suspension. so is her critizing of the refs and wambachs suspension equivalent?

Posted by: thunderbolt3022 | September 19, 2010 12:35 AM | Report abuse

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