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USWNT player representative blasts Hope Solo ban, will appeal

Hope Solo was punished after making callous comments made about Sweden's tactics at the Olympics following the USA's loss in the quarterfinals.

Hope Solo is "saddened" and will appeal U.S. Soccer's decision to hand down a six-month suspension and terminate her national team contract, the U.S. women's national team's player representative told SI's Grant Wahl. 

Solo was reprimanded for calling Sweden "cowards" immediately following a shocking Olympic quarterfinal defeat to the eventual silver medalist, and she was criticized by many for the lack of sportsmanship and class, including former U.S. captain Julie Foudy.

U.S. Soccer took it a step further, banning her for six months, though she will remain active for her NWSL club, Seattle Reign FC.

In her statement, Solo says she is saddened by the decision, while the U.S. players representative, Rich Nichols, says an appeal will be forthcoming after a ban that is "excessive, unprecedented, disproportionate and a violation of Ms. Solo's First Amendment rights."

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Their statements are below:

U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati alluded to past misconduct entering the decision in his statement, saying the following:

“Taking into consideration the past incidents involving Hope, as well as the private conversations we’ve had requiring her to conduct herself in a manner befitting a U.S. national team member, U.S. Soccer determined this is the appropriate disciplinary action.”