As the U.S. women’s national soccer team competes in Canada in the Women’s World Cup, each time goalkeeper Hope Solo’s name is invoked the words “domestic violence” inevitably follow.
“It is a witch hunt, you can put that in the paper,” Jerramy Stevens told USA Today while defending Solo, his wife, who was arrested in June of 2014 on a charge of suspicion of domestic violence.
The charges against Solo were later dropped, however, an ESPN report released just before the start of the World Cup revealed new details about her arrest, which has shifted the focus onto Solo instead of the U.S. team.
“Nothing less than unpatriotic,” Stevens said of the release of the report. “Low class, low class. It was super intentional. I don’t know what their issue is personally with Hope, but it definitely feels like they [ESPN] have one.”
Solo, 33, has also been the target of a rant by from ESPN pundit Keith Olbermann who has called for the keeper to be suspended and for U.S. soccer officials to be fired.
On Thursday, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) wrote a letter to the U.S. Soccer Federation asking for the group to investigate the domestic violence claims made against Solo.
“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,” Blumenthal wrote. “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.”
U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati defended his organization’s inquiry and said the group would continue “gathering information and investigating” the events contained in the ESPN report.
“I think that what’s hard is that she’s the victim of something that was really scary and a really unfortunate incident,” Stevens said. "[She] being classified even remotely close to Ray Rice and these other domestic violence incidents is ridiculous and outright wrong.”
Follow Matt Wilhalme on Twitter @mattwilhalme