Sen. Blumenthal urges Gulati, USSF to investigate Hope Solo charges
Connecticut senator Richard Blumenthal urged the U.S. Soccer Federation on Thursday to investigate claims of domestic violence made against U.S. women's national soccer team goalie Hope Solo.
Blumenthal's request came in an open letter to USSF president Sunil Gulati and called on the organization to "reconsider" Solo's position as a member of the team.
An Outside The Lines report published on June 7 cited previously unread police reports and sworn depositions and painted a stark picture of a violent, aggressive Solo as characterized by the victims. Solo's half-sister Teresa Obert told ESPN neither she nor her son was contacted by U.S. Soccer in the wake of the incident.
Solo was charged with two counts of fourth-degree domestic violence assault for allegedly striking her half-sister and nephew in Richland, Wash., but a judge dismissed the charges in January saying that a lack of cooperation from witnesses prejudiced the case.
“Last year, I criticized the NFL for failing to adequately punish domestic violence in the wake of a two-game suspension given to Ray Rice. It is distressing that after so many months of national dialogue on the issue, we find ourselves at square one in the Hope Solo situation. If the Outside the Lines reports are correct, U.S. Soccer’s approach to domestic violence and family violence in this instance is at best superficial and at worst dangerously neglectful and self-serving," Sen. Blumenthal wrote.
“I urge U.S. Soccer to actually conduct a thorough investigation into this incident – an inquiry that includes a comprehensive review of police reports and interviews of the alleged victims. Additionally, in the interim, I urge U.S. Soccer to reconsider Hope Solo’s position as an active member of Team USA. As boys and girls tune in to Friday’s game, watching the women on TV as role models, it sends exactly the wrong message to start Hope Solo at goal.”
On Sept. 22, Gulati released a statement saying, “From the beginning, we considered the information available and have taken a deliberate and thoughtful approach regarding Hope Solo’s status with the national team. Based on that information, U.S. Soccer stands by our decision to allow her to participate with the team as the legal process unfolds. If new information becomes available, we will carefully consider it.”
The U.S. takes on Sweden in its second game of group play in the 2015 Women's World Cup on Friday after defeating Australia 3-1 to open the tournament.
- Will Green