Hope Solo: Innocent until proven guilty?

Hope Solo is arguably the best goalkeeper in women's soccer. It is not a stretch to say the USWNT hopes of a World Cup championship rest in no small part in her hands. Off the pitch, Solo continues to make news and not always in a positive light. Alcohol often seems to be a contributing factor.  It seems reasonable to suspect she may have a drinking problem. And she's evidently not the most truthful person either.

Hope Solo not yet cleared of Domestic Abuse charges.

Although our legal system proclaims one innocent until proven guilty when it comes to sports figures the consequences for decision making that lead to legal troubles more often than not result in an athlete being suspended or even dismissed pending the legal proceedings playing out. Hope Solo has never been publicly suspended concerning this incident. She was kept out of the public limelight.  Solo was suspended for 30 days earlier this year after her husband crashed a USWNT van while driving drunk with Solo in the passenger seat,

The current legal proceedings will conveniently not take place until after the World Cup is completed. US Soccer seems willing to allow Solo to play in the World Cup and take its chances on how the legal proceedings will play out afterwards.

I cannot complain if only for the fact we are presumed innocent until proven guilty.  Even when this reasoning flies in the face of the conventional wisdom in dealing with athletes who run afoul of the law these days.  However, I am not comfortable with putting Hope Solo on the World Cup stage as one of the faces of the USWNT.  I am left to wonder if her participation is all about winning with her personal well-being a secondary issue.  Will World Cup glory, if it is to be, be tarnished if Solo falls from grace and is convicted of domestic abuse?  Is this the epitome of trying to win at all costs? What message are we sending to all the impressionable young girls playing soccer and watching the World Cup?

What say you?

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