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Hope Solo comments on nude photos, domestic violence allegations

hope-soloHope Solo has been in headlines the past month for terrible reasons.

The US Women’s National Team soccer goalie was one of the celebrities whose private photos were hacked and posted on the internet this week and over Labor Day weekend. In that case, she was a victim of thieves who stole her privacy. In another case, she is accused of being the aggressor in a fight with family back in June.

On Tuesday, Solo issued a statement via her Facebook page that addresses both matters.

“It is extremely sad and unfortunate that the rights of so many women were violated by the unauthorized release of private photographs. This act goes beyond the bounds of human decency and, as such, I stand united with all the women affected and am exploring every option to protect my privacy. In addition, while I understand that the public desires more information regarding the allegations against me, I continue to maintain my innocence against these charges. And, once all the facts come to light and the legal process is concluded, I am confident that I will be fully exonerated.”

To refresh your memory, Solo is accused of attending a family party seemingly drunk. She allegedly got into a fistfight with her 17-year-old nephew, who grabbed a BB gun to get her to back away. She allegedly assaulted both her nephew and sister that night.

Amid heightened awareness over domestic violence, many fans and media members have been calling for the allegations against Solo to be taken more seriously.

US Olympic Committee CEO calls Hope Solo domestic violence allegations ‘distburbing’

Hope SoloThe US Olympic Committee and US Soccer have said very little about Hope Solo since she was arrested and charged with domestic assault back in June. The US women’s goalie has been accused of punching her nephew in the face and attacking the 17-year-old’s mother when she tried to intervene. On Monday, the USOC broke its silence.

In an email to Christine Brennan of USA Today Sports, USOC chief executive officer Scott Blackmun called the allegations against Solo “disturbing.”

“Abuse in all forms is unacceptable,” Blackmun said. “The allegations involving Ms. Solo are disturbing and are inconsistent with our expectations of Olympians. We have had discussions with U.S. Soccer and fully expect them to take action if it is determined that the allegations are true.”

Solo issued an apology shortly after her arrest and said she is confident her name will be cleared once the legal process plays out.

[Related: Hope Solo's nephew said she was 'going psychotic' in 911 call]

As we have learned with some of the NFL’s recent off-field issues, it is not always necessary for a team to wait for “due process” before deactivating a player. US Soccer could have entered into some sort of agreement with Solo where she stays away from the team until the case is resolved, but the team has instead allowed her to play in several meaningless friendlies this summer. Despite that, US Soccer president Sunil Gulati insists the team is taking the allegations very seriously.

“U.S. Soccer takes the issue of domestic violence very seriously,” Gulati said. “From the beginning, we considered the information available and have taken a deliberate and thoughtful approach regarding Hope Solo’s status with the National Team. Based on that information, U.S. Soccer stands by our decision to allow her to participate with the team as the legal process unfolds. If new information becomes available we will carefully consider it.”

As Brennan noted, three major corporations — Anheuser-Busch, McDonald’s and Nike — that expressed concern over the NFL’s recent issues with domestic violence have had no comment on Solo’s situation. All three sponsor US Soccer in addition to the NFL.

Lionel Messi’s hometown bans people from naming children ‘Messi’

lionel messi tuxedo

Folks who live in Lionel Messi’s hometown of Rosario, Argentina are no longer permitted to name their children after the most gifted athlete their section of the globe has ever produced. According to a Spanish News outlet, Rosario officials recently passed a law that prohibits the use of “Messi” as a first name.

Mundo Deportivo reports that the rationale for the law states that using a family name as a first name causes confusion. A man named Hector Varela recently named his newborn son Messi, which apparently inspired the passing of the law. Despite that, Varela said he is proud to have named his child after the best player in the world.

The law was likely passed to protect Messi’s legacy. As Deadspin put it, this is basically the same thing as a team retiring a player’s number. Retiring a name, however, is much more intense. Given what we know about soccer and its fans, that seems appropriate.

Alex Morgan rips Women’s World Cup turf again

Turf-temperature

FIFA is experimenting with artificial turf in advance of the 2015 Women’s World Cup, and several players on the US Women’s National Team have been open in expressing their displeasure over the playing surface. One of the many complaints players have had is that artificial turf can get extremely hot and uncomfortable.

“The temperature on the turf field today,” Alex Morgan wrote on Twitter Saturday along with the photo you see above. “How is this healthy for us?”

Earlier this month, Kobe Bryant shared a photo of Sydney Leroux’s banged-up legs to support the US team in its effort to get FIFA to ditch the artificial turf experiment. Kevin Durant shared the same image on Facebook.

Abby Wambach, the US Women’s team’s all-time leading scorer, believes the turf issue is one of gender inequality.

“It’s a gender issue through and through,” she told Juliet Macur of the New York Times. “This being the pinnacle of our sport, we feel like we should be treated just like the men.”

While more difficult to maintain, most seem to agree that grass is safer than synthetic turf for soccer. As the photo of Leroux’s legs showed, players can get injured just by sliding on artificial turf. With the World Cup still several months away, you can expect the outrage to continue.

New Mexico women’s soccer hazing allegations include stripping, urine splashing

New-Mexico-LobosSeveral members of the University of New Mexico women’s soccer team claim they were brutally hazed by teammates on Sunday night. According to KOB 4 News, one of the victims ended up in the hospital after someone called 911 to report the incident.

One victim’s parent told KOB that their daughter said the team’s freshman players were forced to strip naked and drink dangerous amounts of alcohol. They were also allegedly “sprayed” with urine. At least one victim’s family has reportedly hired an attorney.

A number of UNM students said they were shocked by the allegations, including volleyball player Keaton Alley, who described the women’s soccer team as a “really close-knit team.” Another unnamed student said she or he is familiar with a lot of the players on the team.

“I know a lot of the soccer girls, and I’m surprised that any of them would even do that to someone,” the student told KOB.

New Mexico is one of just six US states without any anti-hazing laws, though that does not mean any claims of hazing would be ignored. Forcing teenagers to drink large amounts of alcohol and splashing urine on them would go well beyond the realm of playful initiation antics.

For more hazing stories, click here.

H/T Gawker

Fan runs onto field during West Ham-Tottenham game, takes free kick (Video)

Fan free kickIf you’re going to run onto the field during a game and get arrested, at least go down swinging. Or, in this case, kicking.

One fan invaded the pitch ran onto the field during Saturday’s West Ham-Tottenham game prior to a Christian Eriksen free kick in the second half. The dude managed to kick the ball prior to Eriksen’s attempt.

The fan, who was later arrested, was identified as a 22-year-old from Kent. He looks like a real thug:

Tim Howard impressed himself with saves against Belgium

Tim Howard diveTim Howard had a record-tying performance when he made 16 saves in one game against Belgium at the World Cup. Even though the US lost the game, Howard became an American legend for his performance. He even had a great “Things Tim Howard could save meme” created in his honor and it was hilarious.

Now Howard admits he even impressed himself with some of the saves. Howard did an interview on “SportsCenter” Wednesday and was asked by Jay Harris to name his favorite saves. Though Howard didn’t have one particular save that stood out, he did mention the Belgium game.

“I think most recently there were a few from the Belgium game that I was impressed with myself,” said Howard.

Howard said he was in the zone during the game and not really focused on the meter ticking after each save.

“When you’re in the moment I don’t think you have the luxury of counting them up and hoping you get a whole bunch more. It’s quite the opposite. You’re trying to plug the holes and lead from the back.

“Obviously that’s my job to make saves and it’s hard to remember how many saves you made in a game or anticipate. So just trying to be in rhythm and make myself big and do the things I’m called upon to do. At the end of the day they add up, just wish I could have had one more,” said Howard.

I’m glad Howard admitted he even impressed himself with some of those saves. He was so awesome that game, it would have been impossible not to.