Saddened by Hope Solo's tweets
LONDON -- What we should be talking about it is the fact that the U.S. women's soccer team, only two games into the Olympics, has scored seven goals and clinched a spot in the quarterfinals.
SportsNation: Solo vs. Chastain
Hope Solo went after Brandi Chastain on Twitter after Chastain criticized Team USA's defense. Did Solo go too far? Comment and vote!
What we should be talking about is the Americans' come-from-behind victory against France in the Olympic opener and their 3-0 win against Colombia in the second game.
What we should be talking about is Alex Morgan's two beautiful goals so far, Abby Wambach's courageous play and the re-emergence of Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe. Or maybe the fact that U.S. coach Pia Sundhage once again has shown how confident she is in the depth of her team by continuing to make changes to the lineup. (I would argue there should be fewer changes as this tournament progresses, but her player rotation seems to be paying dividends so far.)
But instead, we all are talking about Hope Solo's Twitter comments. After the team's win against Colombia on Saturday, she took to Twitter to criticize her former teammate and NBC commentator, Brandi Chastain.
My initial reaction when I read the tweets? Sadness. Not anger, not outrage, just an overwhelming sense of sadness.
Look, I know this isn't the first time former teammates have been upset over comments made on TV about them or their teams. I know because I have lived it myself as a commentator; but regardless of how you feel about someone's commentary, let's put this in perspective.
Not only is Brandi one of Hope's former teammates (and one of mine), but Brandi is one of the legends of the game. She was, is and always will be one of the great ambassadors of women's soccer, especially with all she does to help promote the game. This was not the local pub team coach commentating on the game.
The analogy I could not get out of my head was this: Would Kobe Bryant take to Twitter after a game to tell fellow Lakers legend Magic Johnson he should be better educated before commentating on the game? That the game has changed so much since he left that he essentially has no clue? I would put my piggy bank on a "No" there.
Back to my initial reaction of sadness. I am sad the current team will have to deal with this unnecessary distraction rather than talk about its first two wins and a great Olympic experience. I am sad I am forced to respond to this, sad that what should have been kept as a private conversation between former teammates becomes a public discussion.
So in a hopeful attempt to turn the page and get back to the reason we all cheer loudly for this team, I will leave it at that.
Their next game against North Korea awaits. Let's get back to that, and let the playing do the talking.