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Domestic violence stains the sporting world

Hope Solo, goalkeeper of the United States, reacts during the World Cup Group D match against Sweden at Winnipeg Stadium in Winnipeg, Canada, on Friday, June 12, 2015. (Wang Lili/Xinhua/Sipa USA/TNS)
Hope Solo, goalkeeper of the United States, reacts during the World Cup Group D match against Sweden at Winnipeg Stadium in Winnipeg, Canada, on Friday, June 12, 2015. (Wang Lili/Xinhua/Sipa USA/TNS)

In 2015, domestic violence and sports go hand in a hand, a sad reality that professional athletes can’t keep their anger and aggression on the field and instead display it in a domestic setting.

The NFL just experienced its worst season from a domestic violence standpoint as Ray Rice was suspended and then released, not to be picked up by another team following charges of domestic violence. Greg Hardy and Adrian Peterson were put on a commissioner exempt list and did not play the remaining games after serious allegations were made.

These are just a few in a long list of names who have been arrested for domestic disputes in the NFL in 2014. Jonathan Dwyer, Ray McDonald, Jo-Lonn Dunbar, John Morgan, Jah Reid and Davone Bess and the previously mentioned Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy and Ray Rice all have been penalized for their allegations.

Violence in the personal life of a football player is not uncommon. After all, they spend Monday-Sunday running into each other as hard as they can for a paycheck. The NFL has at least made an attempt at suspending players, and owners, such as in the Ray Rice situation, have refused to sign him. But others aren’t so strict. For example, Greg Hardy signed a 10-million-dollar deal with the Dallas Cowboys after charges were dropped in his case.

This brings us to another sport, a sport that players don’t wear pads, run into each other with the intention of injuries, but is played on a field like football. American Soccer and the US women’s national team has faced scrutiny over the past few years.

On June 21, 2014, early in the morning, Hope Solo was arrested on two counts of domestic violence. As the officer was arresting her, Solo was forced to the ground. In response to this, Solo shouted degrading expletives at the officer.

Solo, the starting goalie for the US women’s national soccer team and perhaps the best goalie in the world, repeatedly insulted everyone in the process of her arrest all the way to her jail cell.

All the details were laid out in police reports, which stated that Solo, 33, assaulted two relatives at her sister-in-law’s house. The 911 call was placed by a man who reported that she would not stop hitting people or leave the house when asked to.

Police identified that Solo’s nephew and sister had visible injuries. Police found that Solo was the primary aggressor and had instigated the assault.

In January of 2015, the charges were dropped, but this wasn’t the first time Solo or any celebrity for that matter had charges magically dropped. In 2012, Solo and husband Jeremy Stevens got into a domestic dispute that caused arrest, but eventually, charges were dropped.

Stevens is a former NFL tight end, who played for the Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Solo helped the U.S.A. Women’s team win the world cup and has won two gold medals at the Olympics. She is currently the goalie for the Seattle Reign.

On July 5, 25 million people tuned up to the Women’s World Cup Final to watch the U.S.A. defeat Japan 5-2. The same number of people watched game six of the 2015 NBA finals between the Cleveland Caviliers and Golden State Warriors, as well as game seven of the 2014 World Series between Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants.

The U.S. Women’s team should be celebrated on their victory—that much is certain. But we still have fear for those athletes who cannot leave it on the field, fear that celebrities and professional athletes will continue to use their athletic ability and bodies away from the fields in domestic battles and not for sports entertainment. The question that really needs answering is very simple: what will make it stop?

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