US women’s soccer coach Jill Ellis addressed the decision to terminate Hope Solo’s contract for the first time Tuesday.
In August, Solo was suspended and had her contract terminated for her comments after the US women’s team lost to Sweden in the Olympics. In a postgame interview, Solo called the Swedish team “cowards” for the way they played, saying the best team didn’t win.
In a statement, Ellis said the decision to terminate Solo’s contract was about more than her comments (via Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl).
“Over time there’s been off-the-field distractions, and the federation has taken action. Each time action has been taken, there’s been made clear an expectation that this would be the last time such a step would be necessary. Sadly, Hope’s postgame comments forced us to make a significant decision. It wasn’t a decision just made about comments. It was a sum total of actions that have unfortunately shown a negative light on our program.”
In 2014, Solo was charged with two counts of domestic violence after an altercation with her half-sister and nephew. A report from ESPN showed that police records described Solo as “belligerent” and “intoxicated” when she was arrested.
Prior to the Olympics, Solo was criticised for posts on her social media accounts where she showed her protective gear against the Zika virus. Crowds in Rio later chanted “Zika” at her during a match.
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