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Hope Solo's Former Backup Slams U.S. Soccer for Soft Stance on Domestic Violence

Hope Solo's Former Backup Slams U.S. Soccer for Soft Stance on Domestic Violence

The Team USA backup for American women’s star goalkeeper Hope Solo suggests that instead of celebrating Solo’s recent record of 73 shutouts, U.S. Soccer should be concentrating on shutting out domestic violence.

Jillian Loyden, founder of the Jillian Loyden Foundation and a member of the United States women’s soccer team, offered her take on the June arrest of Solo, who was charged with 2 counts of domestic violence assault, in a USA Today opinion piece. Police arrested Solo in June for an physical altercation with her sister and her 17-year-old nephew at her sister’s Kirkland, Washington, home.

The domestic violence issue is very personal for Loyden, who wrote on Tuesday in USA Today that in 2012 her sister Britton was murdered by her former fiancé, who awaits trial.

Loyden wrote that “the league can no longer turn a blind eye to the allegations that Solo assaulted two family members.” Back in August, U.S. Soccer, the national governing body for the sport in the United States, defended its decision to honor Solo for her incredible accomplishment of 73 shutouts.

“We are aware that Hope is handling a personal situation at the moment,” the U.S. Soccer director of communications Neil Buethe said. “At the same time, she has an opportunity to set a significant record that speaks to her hard work and dedication over the years with the National Team. While considering all factors involved, we believe that we should recognize that in the proper way.”

Loyden contends that U.S. Soccer is not sending a strong enough message condemning domestic violence. Moreover, in view of recent NFL incidents, such as the recent Ray Rice charge of domestic violence for assaulting his fiancé, some leagues “need to change their outdated and ineffective disciplinary policies.”

Loyden writes, “For too long, domestic violence has hidden in the shadows, too difficult for many to talk about, and easy for some to avoid. Abusers thrive on that silence. It is our duty to shed light on the darkness, to give victims a voice.”

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