DETROIT, MI – DECEMBER 08: Heather Mitts #2 of Team USA signs autographs after the game against China at Ford Field on December 8, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. USA defeated China 2-0. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

VIDEO: Heather Mitts, “I don’t care what you do off the field” in describing Hope Solo

Amid new information about Hope Solo’s alleged domestic violence troubles coming from ESPN’s Outside the Lines, the FOX Soccer panel talked about the news in the kind of way that you have to talk about it but you don’t really want to.

While discussing whether or not the Hope Solo news is a story that should be talked about, former USWNT player and teammate of Hope Solo for 13 years, Heather Mitts, gave the kind of answer that would make sense if Solo was caught speeding or going back for seconds of pizza before others had a chance to take a slice, not allegedly beating the head of your 17 year nephew on the cement floor of a garage.

Mitts said,

“I’m the type of person where, I don’t care what you do off the field, as long as you come and you bring it when you’re on the field and you’re a good teammate on the field. Unless it affects the team. And there have been some times where…I would get angry because I just feel like [Solo] was being somewhat selfish. But, you know what, the team has looked past it. I do think she has made changes that are necessary and that helped the team to become even closer. This is the closest that I’ve ever seen any team with Hope including all the players. And I think that says a lot about the success this team is going to have at this World Cup.”

The “I don’t care what you do off the field” explanation would not have been allowed if a former NFL player said that about Ray Rice last year and it really shouldn’t be allowed here. Is there a double standard? It certainly seems like it.

Look, I agree with those on the FOX panel. In a perfect world, I too just want to talk about tomorrow’s USWNT game against Australia, I too only want to talk about the play on the field and wish that this wasn’t a distraction. Sadly, that’s not how news reporting is and not how someone in the media should talk about something as serious as domestic violence. Domestic violence, whether it’s man on woman, woman on man, man on man or woman on woman is an incredibly serious issue that shouldn’t be swept under the rug because it distracts from the play on the field. It’s unfortunate that this came out the day before the United States is starting their World Cup but it’s out there and it needs to be talked about. A media persons job, at any sporting event, is to talk about the good, the bad and the ugly. This, sadly, is the ugly.

Having said that, regardless of how I feel about Hope Solo as a player on the field or as a person off the field and anything in between, I just hope she gets help. Whether that’s help with anger or alcoholism or something else, I just hope she eventually realizes she needs help and gets it before it’s too late. Hopefully, we’ll be talking about that in the future.



About Phillip Bupp

News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing, highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them. Follow me on Twitter @phillipbupp