Representation of Hope: Content Media Analysis of the Hope Solo Domestic Violence Case
The Hope Solo Case
On June 21, 2014, news broke that Hope Solo, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and star goalkeeper for the United States national women’s soccer team was arrested at her stepsister’s, Teresa Obert, suburban Seattle home for domestic violence. A 911 call was made around 1 a.m. that morning by her then 17 year-old nephew reporting that “Hope Solo is going psychotic; she’s beating [expletive] people up, and we need help” (Fainaru-Wada, 2015a).
The night began with a seemingly intoxicated Solo arriving at her stepsister’s home after having a disagreement with her husband. Not long after entering the home a verbal altercation between Solo and her nephew began where a series of insults were exchanged. Physical violence ensued moments after, of which Solo’s nephew states that she “lunged at him to take a swing” (Fainaru-Wada 2015a, Boren 2015). From there he reports that she jumped on top of him and bashed his head into the ground repeatedly.
At that moment, Obert joined in to pry Solo off her son and restrain her, but instead Solo turned on her and began punching her in the face. After calling 911, Obert’s son then grabbed, according to him, a broken BB gun (Solo reported it as a working handgun (Glock, 2015)) and pointed it at Solo to get her out of the house. When Solo would not leave, he grabbed a wooden broomstick and hit her over the head. Dazed and concussed (according to Solo and her lawyer (Boren 2015, Glock 2015, Fainaru-Wada
2015a)), she began walking toward her nephew when the Seattle police arrived.
After interviewing all three suspects, the reporting officers came upon a he said, she said story of who began the assault. Under a Washington statute for domestic violence, reporting officers must use their best judgment as to who the primary physical aggressor is and then arrest said person (Glock, 2015). With the “bruising on the left side of [Obert’s] face,” “a large scratch mark on the right side of her neck”, and her nephew sustaining a “bleeding cut on the bottom of his left ear” as well as his arms being “bright red and [having] scratch marks” (Gougen, 2014), Solo was arrested as the sole perpetrator and charged with two counts of fourth-degree domestic violence.
Five days after her arrest, Solo issued a statement via the social media network, Facebook, apologizing to the “fans, teammates, coaches, and staff” involved with United States soccer and her professional soccer team, the Seattle Reign FC, for her actions and expressed love for her family members as well as hope to resolve the situation as a family (Solo, 2014). As her court case began, Solo continued her soccer career without any repercussions. Days after the incident she was participating in Reign team practices and even suited up, but did not play, for a game a week later. The U.S Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati did not comment on the case until three months later when he stated, “U.S Soccer stands by our decision to allow her to participate with the [U.S national team] as the legal process unfolds. If new information becomes available, we will carefully consider it” (Fainaru-Wada, 2015a).
In January of 2015, all charges were dismissed due to Obert and her son being uncooperative and the prosecution not following procedural rules when bringing forward witnesses. Months later, Solo played with the national team in the FIFA World Cup in Canada, where she helped lead them to tournament champions. Later in October, due to an appeal from the prosecutor to the Superior Court, the charges were reinstated and have since been put on hold by an appeal made by her attorney (Fainaru-Wada, 2015b).
When beginning research for the relation between sport and domestic violence, all of the articles presented talked about the connection between male athletes, specifically athletes from the National Football League (NFL), and domestic violence against women. The NFL has a long history of domestic violence with one of the most recent cases occurring a few months before Hope Solo’s. The Ray Rice domestic violence case was one of the most publicized cases of domestic violence (besides that of O. J Simpson) due to the video evidence of him punching his fiancée unconscious and then dragging her body out of the elevator they were in (Anderson 2017, Ferrucci 2016, Holloway 2015, Schmidt 2016). There have been numerous other cases, like that of Greg Hardy, from the Dallas Cowboys, assaulting his girlfriend and Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, for child abuse. Research on these types of cases and on male domestic violence offenders in general have an abundance of studies to choose from.
Meanwhile, research conducted on female domestic violence offenders is minimal, whereas there are zero studies that look at female athletes as domestic violence offenders since it is a rare situation. There is however, an article that looks at the image restoration strategies of Tonya Harding after being accused of an attack on her teammate (Benoit & Hanczor, 1994). According to Brennan and Vandenberg (2009), media limits their depiction of female offenders to only if they are on death row, severely violent or highly publicized criminal women. This is due to society’s depiction of women being the victim. The second wave of feminism that occurred from the 1960s to the 90s, partially contributed to this view because it was legally acknowledged that there was discrimination and victimization of women (Russell, 2013). With this change, our social norms have conditioned us to think that women are not dangerous and do not commit crimes. When the thought of a female offender comes up it conflicts with our prescribed gender roles of women being nurturing and non-aggressive. As a result, scholars fear studying female offenders, as they are concerned they might expose women as other than innocent and reverse or slow the progress made toward equality.
The purpose of this article is to explore how media content represents Hope Solo throughout her domestic violence case. Since there are zero studies that have been conducted on female athletes and domestic violence, this study will attempt to fill that void.
Gender and Sport
To understand how sport plays a part in gender conformity and stereotypes it is best to look at it through historical context. Birrell and Cole (1994, p.vi) explains that sport “does not stand outside the economic, cultural, political and theoretical conditions in which it takes form and reform; sport and the bodies that stand at its center are always made and remade within particular histories and places”. According to Hargreaves (2002) much of the historical understanding of sport and it’s patriarchy began during the Victorian period. During this time social, industrial and technological changes helped give rise to what is now modern sport. Hargreaves (2002) points out that this time period was a dominant force in history that constrained women’s sports. This period of time subjugated women to a powerless role by placing them in the realm of domestics, while men were situated in place of economics. Although the idea of women belonging in domestics had been around long before, it was not until the Victorian era that it became a popular definition of what a woman was and it soon became directly related to one being female (Hargreaves 2002 p. 53).
As Anderson (2017) mentions in her article, in the family women were to hold the role of a wife, caregiver and housekeeper, which posed her as less than when compared to the man, who’s role was that of the wage earner. The man was responsible for making the money in order to provide for his family. Back then, this ideal was seen as the natural order of things and that it was biologically determined and therefore, unchangeable (Hargreaves, 2002). It was viewed that due to certain physical and mental characteristics, women were more suited to domestic life and less equipped for the rigorous workforce. Leaving women with no other option but to stay within the confines of the family home.
During the nineteenth and twentieth century, sport was yet another way to confine women to their domestic sphere. Sport was thought to be masculine and with masculinity virtues like that of courage, competitiveness and aggression went with it (Hargreaves, 2002). Early women’s sport consisted of various versions of croquet and tennis because they were deemed gentle games. On the tennis court, women wore clothing that was lavish and restrained their movements, which posed them more as “ornaments on the court” (Hargreaves, 2002). In order for women to fit into the ideals of society while involved in sport, they needed to show that femininity could appear in physical activity as well. Along with femininity, if the sport could be shown that there were no immodesties and had a pragmatic purpose then they could extend their involvement in sport without threatening the social standard. Early sports for women were only allowed to increase when in the twentieth century because it still occurred in a separate sphere from the men’s sports (Anderson, 2017).
In the 1920s, women’s collegiate sport began to come about and it was received with severe backlash from society. Three years later a survey was conducted that revealed that 93% of instructions that taught physical education were against the idea. In 1928, the idea to involve women in the participation of the Olympics was cast aside by the Women’s Division of National Amateur Athletic Foundation (Anderson, 2017). Due to this poor reception for female involvement in sport, women involved in athletics created a “feminine philosophy of sport” that would become responsible for the survival of women in sport. This philosophy contested that the presence of female athletes would not become a threat to the male idealism of sport as strong, powerful and requiring a great deal of athleticism (Anderson, 2017). Towards the end of the Victorian era, the feminist movement became active because society had to now acknowledge that women had physicality.
Violating Gender Expectations
Previous research conducted on media depiction of female offenders reiterates the importance of gender stereotypes and gender-role expectations. Stereotypes as Healey (1997) notes allow individuals to “judge people as well as things and sometimes categorize others based upon a quick appraisal of their most obvious characteristics” (p. 29). A person’s gender is highly visible and it is one of the first things that other individuals notice upon meeting. This is important because gender dictates expected behavior such as gender specific roles.
Gender specific roles or gender-role expectations are behavioral norms that are derived from stereotypes about certain sets of characteristics that a male or female should possess and how he or she should conduct themselves. Gender roles are normally learned socially and once they are learned, they are then formalized, legitimatized and eternalized by values and beliefs (Brennan, 2002, p. 10, Grabe et al., 2006).
Stereotypes about suitable conduct for women mainly come from ideas about where their proper place in society is. Despite how progressive society has become today, there is still a part of society that believes women should be wives and mothers (Brennan, 2002). Mothers are supposed to be nurturing, nonaggressive and sometimes emotional, while wives are supposed to be passive, cooperative and dependent on their husbands. Behaving in this manner conforms to the gender-role expectation and if the expectation is followed then the individual is looked upon favorably; women who fail to comply to the expectation are deemed abnormal and viewed more negatively (Brennan 2002, p.11).
Previous research on female offenders illustrates how gender stereotypes impact the expectations of appropriate behavior for females. Females are not expected to commit crime. Russell (2013) found that stereotypes surrounding criminal behavior were very predominantly associated as masculine. When females become offenders they have not only broken the law, but have “transgressed the norms and expectations associated with appropriate feminine behavior” (Berrington & Honkatukia, 2002, p. 50).
Domestic Violence Representation in the Media
Before the second wave of feminism occurred in the 1960s, domestic violence was not a matter to be discussed openly. It was deemed a private matter, if people even wanted to register that it existed. It was not until domestic violence shelters began opening up in large clusters that society began to notice it as a social issue. Awareness of the issue increased when it was aided by the news’ “discovery” in 1973 (Enck-Wanzer, 2009). In Russo’s (2006) research, the 1984 movie, “The Burning Bed”, that starred Farah Fawcett as a wife that enacts revenge on her abusive husband, was said to have been multiple of her respondents’ first introduction to this issue. Until the mid-1990s, any type of coverage of domestic violence was irregular. It wasn’t until the 1993 case of Lorena Bobbitt, she severed her abusive husband’s genitals off, and the 1994 O.J. Simpson case, where he murdered his wife, that brought domestic violence front and center.
Over the past twenty years or so, coverage of domestic violence has not changed and follows a specific pattern. Both Enck-Wanzer (2009) and Russo (2006) found that media would only cover stories about domestic violence if the focus were on a horrific murder and/or about a high-profile individual. Through this pattern, media creates the idea that domestic violence is a very radical event and that individuals who commit these acts are mentally ill, which helps ignore the actual social reasoning for why the violence was committed (Enck-Wanzer, 2009). Secondly, media, in particular women’s magazines, in a case of intimate partner violence will put focus on how the victim should evade a situation like that or why a victim would not leave their current situation (Russo, 2006). This pattern illustrates domestic violence as a personal issue rather than one of society as well as an issue the victim should have been responsible for ending. As Enck-Wanzer (2009) states in her article, news media will regularly diminish any sort of focus on masculine entitlement, in order to lessen any need to call for “cultural urgency”. In terms of intimate partner domestic violence, this once again creates an impression that this issue is an individual’s responsibility and not that of a cultural that has taught, specifically men, that women need to be controlled.
This pattern of media framing changes when a celebrity, in particular a male celebrity, is the one being accused of domestic violence (Enck-Wanzer, 2009). Enck-Wanzer drew this conclusion after she reviewed every article on domestic violence from 1990 to 2005 found in the Reader’s Guide to Periodic Literature. She found in almost every article that the sole concentration was on the perpetrator, not the victim and talked about their background as an athlete, entertainer, musician or as military personnel. With the focus on athletes, Enck-Wanzer (2009) was able to find a theme among the articles. Male athletes were portrayed as “out of control” or in the case of an African-American athlete, they were labeled the “black athlete out of control”. When the athlete participated in a sport known for aggressive play they were either portrayed as natural tendency to commit domestic violence or that the violence was due to the physicality of their sport.
Framing Female Offenders as “Bad” or “Mad/Sad” Women
Based on reviewed studies, pertaining to perceptions of female offenders, in Brennan & Vandenber (2009), it was found that media tends to group female offenders into one of the two categories – “bad” women or “mad/sad” women. This coincides with how the public conceptualizes offenders as “good” or “evil”. Brennan & Vandenber (2009) described “bad” women as women who knowingly go against traditional gender-role expectations. These women are become demonized (Berrington & Honkatukia, 2002, Naylor 2001), masculinized in appearance and/or personality (Barnett 2006; Berrington & Honkatukia 2002, Grabe et al. 2006, Huckerby 2003), scolded for their violation of their domestic responsibility (Barnett, 2006, Huckerby, 2003) and/or chastised for sexual and other deviances (Berrington & Honkatukia 2002, Farr 2000). These themes create an unfavorable narrative for female offenders, so much so that it functions as a way to cast women out from their womanhood. In turn, this excludes them from all the “benefits” that come with that status. Being depicted as “bad”, many people use the rational that they were directly responsible for their own actions and are therefore, deserving of punishment.
However, there are some instances when women are portrayed as not fully responsible for their own actions. According to Brennan & Vandenber (2009), to be branded as “mad” or “sad” images, narratives and discussions need to be provided for justification. Certain external factors can be used to excuse the criminal behavior exhibited by these women, which will allow media to depict them as “victims of circumstance”. In order for the media to gain sympathy for these women, they had to attribute the criminal behavior to a medical condition (Barnett 2006, Berrington & Honkatukia, 2002, Huckerby 2003, Naylor 2001), emphasize the feminine appearance (Berrington & Honkatukia 2002, Farr 2000), and/or describe the women’s commitment to traditional female traits and fulfillment of their domestic duties (Barnett 2006, Berrington & Honkatukia 2002, Grabe et al. 2006, Huckerby 2003, Naylor 2001). With the use of these explanations, the media can gain sympathy from the audience and convince them that these women should not be punished because of their actions.
The purpose of this paper is to critically examine how a public female figure is represented through media content when charged with domestic violence. With this purpose, the best method to apply is a content media analysis. According to Berg (2001), a content media analysis contains techniques used for objectively making inferences of messages conveyed in data. In a time where “the twenty-first century is a media saturated, technologically dependent, and globally connected world” (Kellner & Share, 2007) we solely rely on media for information. It plays an influential role in how we organize, shape and disseminate information. Through a content media analysis, we can focus on how a particular phenomenon is represented (Krippendorff 2012, p. 22), which will help deconstruct the ways in which media creates meaning, influences their audience, and imposes messages and values. Female domestic violence offenders are a fairly uncommon phenomenon, but it is rare for it to be presented in the media so profusely. Therefore, a content media analysis is the optimal strategy for analyzing the under-lying image that is put forth by the media.
The first step for collecting data was to conduct a broad Internet search for news and magazine articles related to the Hope Solo domestic violence case. Search engines such as Google and the Martin Luther King library were used for the article search. The search yielded over 100,000 results combined, but multiples of the same articles were found. For the next step in data collection, a criterion for inclusion and exclusion of data was determined (Flyvbjerg, 2013). Data was included in the analysis if it was published between the dates of June 21, 2014 to June 2015, was ranked by Cision’s (2016) “Most Popular U.S Newspapers by Circulation”, Alexa’s (2016) “Most Popular Sports Websites”, or was referenced by other articles that already had been included. Articles like that of ESPN’s Outside the Lines, “Detailed Look at the Hope Solo Domestic Violence Case” was a vital gatekeeper in obtaining reliable articles because it was referenced by a majority of them as their basis for factual evidence to the case.
Multiple digital articles from ESPN, CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Time magazine, The New Yorker, Foxsports and Sports Illustrated were downloaded or put into a Word document format and entered into a computer-aided text analysis software, ATLAS.ti. Over the years, text analysis software has become increasingly attractive due to the human ability to understand and interpret data, while having the computer’s ability to scan large volumes of text systematically and reliably (Krippendorff 2012, p. 21). ATLAS.ti made the process of scanning through the data easier and more efficient by allowing words to be searched throughout the entire text and cross-referenced between articles and ten stored for later analysis. The next step after finding and noting similar words and phrases was to apply a code, which would then be grouped into the key themes for this analysis.
Coding was a process that occurred in two phases: a primary-cycle and second-cycle. During the primary-cycle of coding first-level codes, words and/or phrases that were used for description, were applied to sections of raw-data to capture their meaning (Tracy 2013, p. 189). Throughout this phase, codes were consistently reflected upon and then modified to fit emerging data. Over fifty individual codes were constructed, which in the second-cycle were put into broader categories. Data was considered to have reached saturation once new codes could no longer be introduced and there were multiples of the same code continually repeated throughout several articles. The second-cycle of coding served as an avenue to explain, theorize and synthesize codes to identify any significant patterns (Tracy, 2013). Codes were systematically grouped together under a higher-level “umbrella” category that made sense conceptually. Links between the themes and the key research question were then addressed. A Microsoft Excel spreadsheet was made with all the raw-data codes, sub-categories and themes as a medium for organization as well as an illustration of how data was developed.
To ensure the validity of this analysis, multiple coders were used in a process called intercoder agreement, where multiple individuals will code the same data separately to see if all arrive at similar codes (Creswell 2016 p.153). For optimal results, coders who had little knowledge of the case were utilized to ensure a neutral response. Reflexivity, which is the consciousness of the researcher’s background and personal experiences and how it can interact with the interpretation of the presented data, was utilized throughout the entire coding process (Creswell, 2016). As an ex-female athlete who participated in soccer well into the collegiate level it was important to assure there was no bias in favor of Hope Solo.
Results & Discussion
Painted as the Victim
The recurrent theme of Hope Solo being painted as the victim was evident throughout all of ESPNW’s Allison Glock’s article. After coding the article there were 54 initial codes, which were then dwindled down to 24 due to repetition and similar meanings. Out of these codes, four subcategories were created: rough childhood, victim of the incident, victim of past transgressions and expressed emotions of distress. Glock reinforces Solo as a victim by discussing her broken home dynamics when growing up. Solo’s childhood is described as plagued with “poverty, neglect, familial mental illness, chronic deception and a whole host of attendant challenges” (Glock, 2015). Discussion of her chaotic home life with the audience shows a sign of vulnerability, which is not a characteristic that one associates with a perpetrator. In the article Glock (2015) also writes that Solo’s childhood was not that of an easy one since “her father left, because her mother drank, [and] because her brother smacked her senseless”. There were multiple other occurrences throughout the media of Solo being beaten by her brother Marcus. One instance, Solo’s mother had mentioned he would attack her for the fun of it (Glock 2015).
These examples were all used as a way to place blame for Solo’s actions somewhere else besides her. The ideal that women are always the victim is shown through this by providing previous history of being the victim of family violence.
In the next subcategory, Solo is exemplified as the victim of the incident that occurred in 2014. Through Glock, Solo was able to share her side of the story and her side was that she was “a victim of domestic violence at the hands of my 17-year-old nephew, who is 6-foot-9, 280 pounds” (Glock, 2015). An emphasis on the stature of her nephew was reiterated a few times to show that despite his age at the time, he was not a small helpless child that could not defend himself, but rather a full-grown adult that could cause violent damage as well. Also, while talking about her nephew, Glock (2015) went into detail about how Solo’s nephew hit her over the head with a broom, grabbed her hair and took her to the ground, and grabbed a gun and pointed it her. Articles that presented Solo as the aggressor, neglected or lacked emphasis on these events but instead focused on the accounts of her family members. By illustrating those events, Glock is able to show that Solo was not the one harming her family. Rather, Solo’s almost 7 foot tall nephew was able take her down and inflict emotional and physical pain.
Presenting Solo as the aggressor was an easy theme to pick out right away. Initially, there were 40 plus codes that presented Solo in a negative light. Those codes were then reviewed and combined to 24 codes that exhibited Solo as the prime aggressor. Many articles (Fainaru-Wada, 2015; Kelly, 2015) focused on Solo’s other previous controversies such her 30-day suspension from the U.S national team due to her involvement of allowing her intoxicated husband drive a team van. In Fainaru-Wada’s Outside The Lines article (2015), he goes into some depth about all her past transgressions dating back to 2007 when she sparked controversy over comments she made about being benched in the game against Brazil in the World Cup. Bringing up the past transgressions is meant to paint a picture of Solo who is used to be involved in troubled situations. This tactic along with other statements involving her “off-putting” personality, and “bitch-face” sets her a part from how a woman should act. Giving her the characteristics that society does not normally associate well-behaved women with. Assigning these characteristics to her, the author presents an image of an outsider, which makes it harder for an audience to connect with her. Another way that Fainaru-Wada disconnects Solo from the audience is by accusing her of a false account. Based off his interviews with the Oberts and the obtained polic report, Fainaru-Wada claims that the story Solo is telling through Glock and the interview she did on Good Morning America in Feburary of 2015 was inaccurate. He presents Solo to the audience as a liar, which is yet another characteristic he labels her with that casts her as an outsider.
If the articles were not focused on illustrating Solo as a victim or an aggressor, they presented her as an athlete. There was a focus on her athletic abilities, her status as “the most accomplished goalkeeper in the world” and her dedication to the sport. The articles by Kelley (2015) and Glock (2015), have bouts in their articles were they would talk about Hope Solo’s soccer career. Glock even made a note of it in her article to conduct parts of her interview with Solo while in her locker room and the Seattle Reign’s athletic training room. By setting this scene in the article, it takes the audience out of the bleak present situation and puts Solo back into a favorable light. Parts of Kelly and Glock’s articles discuss moments of Solo’s athletic prowess by stating, “even with a defender blocking her view, Solo moved decisively, unfurling her body and diving up
and back just in time” (Kelly, 2015) or “her return kicks sail to midfield with precision” (Glock, 2015). This tactic can also be seen in the media representation of male athletes such as O.J. Simpson and Jeffery Moon (Maxwell, 2000; Schimdt, 2016). The athletes’ ability would be used as a sort of excuse for the crime by brining the public back to the fact that they are talented and that is why they are in the public’s eye in the first place.
The audience of this study should understand that there were limitations in data collection and analysis. In terms of being practical, not all accounts of media, like Twitter, Facebook, blogs and interviews, could be included in this analysis. The time period of a year was another limitation as it would not have been feasible to analyze up to three years worth of articles. Creation of codes and themes were limited to only articles from news and magazine websites. The scope for analysis had to be limited to only the content analysis of media’s representation of Hope Solo. Future ideas for research could be to conduct a more in-depth content analysis using the above-mentioned forms of media, especially through the use of Twitter to focus on the public’s sentiment to this case and a comparison of media treatment between female athlete offenders versus male athlete offenders. Ethnicity and race can also play a part in this research, by looking more in depth into the different treatment of white female athlete scandals versus African-American female athletes.
The purpose of this article was to analyze how the media represented Hope Solo throughout her domestic violence. The common themes found through the news and magazine articles were that of Solo painted as the victim, the prime aggressor, media focus on her as an athlete and had a focus on her femininity. When looking at how the media presented Hope Solo, the pattern was not consistent with the data found from the articles of Russo (2006) and Enck-Wanzer (2009). In Enck-Wanzer, it was found that any focus on male entitlement would be diminished in order to prevent any sort of “cultural urgency” to change social norms. Many of the articles dedicated to the Hope Solo case had called attention to the comparison of her and Ray Rice. Some authors wrote that the treatment of both cases should be the same, while others believed that more attention should be brought to the domestic violence situation going on in the NFL. Overall, the representation of Hope Solo was not like that of any other publicized domestic violence case because instead of having the usual male in the spotlight, which by society has been normalized, they had a rift in the societal standards when a female committed the crime.
Media Content Data Collection
|ESPNW – Pride, Regret, Hope by Allison Glock|
|ESPN Outside The Lines – Detailed Look at Hope Solo’s Domestic Violence Case|
|The New Yorker – The Hope Solo Fiasco|
* = seen in multiple articles
|Focus on Femininity|
|-“her hair a Breck-girl wonder”|
|-“planes in her angular face”|
|-“her teeth white as queen’s gloves”|
|-“tinier than you’d imagine”|
|-“Solo watches his eyes as he talks, places her hand on the round of his shoulder.”|
|-“Solo greets her husband with eager affection”|
|-“’Stevens is, among other things, an avid outdoorsman” Solo says, proudly.”|
|-“Solo seldom misses an opportunity to praise her husband.”|
|-“He held me and I just knew this is where I wanted to be.”|
|*Solo was suspended for thirty days for making “a poor decision when she let her husband drive drunk (2015)|
|*Outbrust comments against coach Greg Ryan at the 2007 World Cup for being benched|
|*Went on a Twitter rant in 2012 about Brandi Chastain’s commentary of a teammate|
|Characteristics of an Aggressor|
|-“’She had always yelled at me.”’|
|-“Her personality can be off-putting, belligerent.”|
|-“Having a brash, competitive attitude.”|
|-“Solo still radiated bitch face.”|
|-“Solo was so combative that she had to be forced to the ground”|
|-“Repeatedly hurled insults at the officers”|
|-“’You’re such a b—-. You’re scared of me because you know that if the handcuffs were off, I’d kick your ass.’”|
|-“She knew her sister could be volatile”,|
|*Drunk Solo told the officer that the piece of jewelry was worth more than he made in a year.
– It never had anything to do with size. She has tried to make him feel small his whole life.
|Evidence from the incident|
|*He said she charged and struck him multiple times.|
|-“‘She started punching me in the face over and over again.’”|
|– “’seeing injuries to Obert and her son, the police concluded that there was probable cause to arrest Solo|
|-*Solo “jumped on top of me and started bashing my head into the cement” inside the garage.|
|-Solo to call him a “pussy” and a “mama’s boy,”|
|Accused of False Accounts|
|-“There was one problem, though, with Solo’s version: It wasn’t entirely accurate”|
|-“Paint her son as the aggressor, that relationship is over.”|
|-“but then, randomly, she goes on ‘Good Morning America’ and lies. I was very upset.|
|-“Solo, who had talked to an ESPN reporter for an earlier, more flattering piece in the network’s magazine,
declined to be interviewed by Outside the Lines.”
|Painted as the Victim|
|-poverty, neglect, familial mental illness, chronic deception|
|-used to attack his sister for sport, making the house “a war zone.”|
|-“Marcus used to beat me up”|
|-her father left, because her mother drank, because her brother smacked her senseless|
|Victim of the incident|
|-“insists she was the victim”|
|-“he lost control and his mother tried to protect him”|
|-“He’s 6-foot-8, 270 pounds. The media acted like he was some 5-year-old kid.”|
|-“beat her over the head with a broomstick at some point, and that he drew a gun,”|
|-“insisting she never behaved aggressively”|
|-He then “grabbed [Solo] by the hair, took her to the ground and held her there until she calmed down.”|
|-shot back that Solo, “and particularly her father, were the crazy ones,”|
|-My name was completely smeared.|
|-I was a victim of domestic violence at the hands of my 17-year-old nephew, who is 6-foot-9, 280 pounds. I was struck over the head, and concussed pretty severely. It was a very scary night.|
|Victim of past transgressions|
|-that no matter the path she now says she’s on, her haters gonna hate.|
|-making her fly home alone, muttering insults as she passed by – after the 2007 coach comment|
|-Hope was painted into a corner, she was turned into the villain.”|
|-Solo’s prickly personality and ready antagonism made her an easy target.|
|-What do I do that people hate? I wonder all the time, why?”|
|-I feel shame for it all.|
|-The pain wasn’t going away when I kicked a ball.”|
|-she didn’t even register how much she “was filled with anger and pain.” Nor how she was “broken inside.”|
|-Solo begins to cry. She feels stupid, she says, palming tears from her cheeks|
|Focus on her being an athlete||*Mentioned how interviews were conducted in
lockeroom and in the training room
|-being the finest athlete on the field. When the two of them ran together, Solo would
always run faster, even if she was wearing flip-flops instead of sneakers.
|-Her return kicks sail to midfield with precision|
|-I pride myself on the technical side, the tiny, minute details like angles, hand placement, footwork.
I want to make it look clean.”
|-Even with a defender blocking her view, Solo moved decisively, unfurling her body and diving up
and back just in time.
|“World’s Best” Status|
|-Solo is the only player who merits her own cheer|
|-the world’s most accomplished goalkeeper,|
|-one of the top 20 players of all time,|
|-Hope Solo proved once again that she is the best goalkeeper in women’s soccer|
|-The U.S. has no goalkeeper quite like her; just her presence on the field elevates the
rest of the team’s play
|Dedication to the sport|
|-Soccer was what I leaned on,|
|-chasing a ball shot right at her head in a cage, a place most of us would be terrified to stand,
let alone choose to stay.
|-When people would ask Hopey who her favorite character was as a kid, she’d answer, ‘A ball,’|
|-“practice for hours on-end”|
|-I’m not trying to be famous. I just want to win the World Cup.|
|-it’s more about where I’m at mentally and emotionally. In order for us to win,
I don’t have room to be distracted.”
Alexa. (2016). The top 500 sites on the web. Retrieved from
Anderson, L. (2017). Seeing is believing: A critical discourse analysis of media representations of domestic violence in sport (Order No. 10262191). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global: The Humanities and Social Sciences Collection. (1916517925).
Barnett, B. (2006). Medea in the media: Narrative and myth in newspaper coverage of
women who kill their children. Journalism, 7(4), 411-432.
Ben-David, Sarah. (1993). The two facets of female violence: The public and the domestic domains. Journal of Family Violence. 8. 345-359. 10.1007/BF00978098.
Benoit, W. L., & Hanczor, R. S. (1994). The Tonya Harding controversy: An analysis of image restoration strategies. Communication Quarterly, 42(4), 416-433.
Berg, B. (2001). Research methods for the social sciences. Needham Heights, MA:
Pearson Education Company.
Berrington, E., & Honkatukia, P. (2002). An evil monster and a poor thing: Female
violence in the media. Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention, 3(1), 50-72.
Birrell, S., & Cole, C. L. (1994). Women, sport, and culture. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
Boren, C. (2015, June 08). Hope Solo’s half-sister, new documents reveal ugly details of domestic violence incident. Retrieved November 15, 2017, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2015/06/07/hope-solos-half-sister-refutes-soccer-stars-story-on-domestic-violence-incident/?utm_term=.6a6b5baba662
Brennan, P. K. (2002). Women sentenced to jail in New York City. New York: LFB
Brennan, P., & Vandenberg, A. (2009). Depictions of Female Offenders in Front-Page Newspaper Stories: The Importance of Race/Ethnicity. International Journal of Social Inquiry, 2(2), 141-175.
Creswell, J. W. (2016). 30 essential skills for the qualitative researcher. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.
Cision. (2016). Top 10 US daily newspapers. Retrieved from
Enck-Wanzer, S. M. (2009). All’s Fair in Love and Sport: Black Masculinity and Domestic Violence in the News. Communication & Critical/Cultural Studies, 6(1), 1-18. doi:10.1080/14791420802632087
Fainaru-Wada, M. (2015a, October 02). Documents reveal new details about Hope Solo’s actions last June. Retrieved November 17, 2017, from http://www.espn.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/12976615/detailed-look-hope-solo-domestic-violence-case-includes-reports-being-belligerent-jail
Fainaru-Wada, M. (2015b, October 02). Hope Solo again will face charges after reversal of earlier court decision. Retrieved December 1, 2017, from http://www.espn.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/13793673/hope-solo-again-face-domestic-violence-charges
Farr, K. A. (2000). Defeminizing and dehumanizing female murderers: Depictions of
lesbians on death row. Women & Criminal Justice, 11(1), 49-66.
Flyvbjerg, B. (2013). Five Misunderstandings About Case-Study Research. IDEAS Working Paper Series from RePEc, IDEAS Working Paper Series from RePEc, 2013.
Glock, A. (2015, June 01). Pride. Regret. Hope. Retrieved November 20, 2017, from http://www.espn.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/12957499/hope-solo-prepares-third-world-cup-dealing-recent-controversy
Gougen, P., Sgt. , & Voss, E., Off. (2014, June 23). Kirkland Police Department: Police Report 06/21/14. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
Grabe, M. E., Trager, K. D., Lear, M., & Rauch, J. (2006). Gender in crime news: A
case study test of the chivalry hypothesis. Mass Communication and Society, 9(2), 137-163.
Hargreaves, J. (2002). The Victorian cult of the family and the early years of female sport. In S. Scraton & A. Flintoff (Eds.), Gender and sport: A reader (pp. 53-65). London: Routledge.
Healey, J.F. (1997). Race, ethnicity, and gender in the United States: Inequality, group conflict, and power. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press.
Henning, K., & Feder, L. (2004). A Comparison of Men and Women Arrested for Domestic Violence: Who Presents the Greater Threat? Journal of Family Violence,19(2), 69-80.
Holloway, J. S. (2015). Public sentiment on intimate partner violence: An analysis of twitter response to the ray rice incident (Order No. 1587905). Available from GenderWatch; ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global: The Humanities and Social Sciences Collection. (1683128130).
Huckerby, J. (2003). Women who kill their children: Case study and conclusions
concerning the differences in the fall from maternal grace by Khoua and Andrea Yates. Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy, 10, 149-172.
Kellner, D., & Share, J. (2007). Critical media literacy, democracy, and the reconstruction of education. In D. Macedo & S.R. Steinberg (Eds.), Media literacy: A reader (pp. 3-23). New York: Peter Lang.
Kelly, C. (2015, June 12). The Hope Solo Fiasco. Retrieved November 25, 2017, from https://www.newyorker.com/news/sporting-scene/the-hope-solo-fiasco
Maxwell, K., Huxford, J., Borum, C., & Hornik, R. (2000). Covering Domestic Violence: How the O.J. Simpson Case Shaped Reporting of Domestic Violence in the News Media. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 77(2), 258-272.
Martin, K. A. (2013). Domestic violence, sexual assault, and sex trafficking in the media: A content analysis (Order No. 1539664). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global: The Humanities and Social Sciences Collection. (1413307143).
Naylor, B. (2001). Reporting violence in the British print media: Gendered stories. The Howard Journal, 40(2), 180-194.
Russo, A. (2006). Framing the victim: Domestic violence, media, and social problems. Violence Against Women,12(1), 116-119.
Russell, B. L. (2013). Perceptions of Female Offenders: How Stereotypes and Social Norms Affect Criminal Justice Responses. New York, NY: Springer Science Business Media.
Schmidt, K. (2016, April 25). Out of hand: Media coverage of domestic violence in the NFL, an analysis of the Ray Rice and Greg Hardy cases. Retrieved October 28, 2017, from http://kierstenschmidt.com/outofhand/rice-hardy-proposal.pdf
Solo, H. (2014, June 26). Hope Solo. Retrieved December 06, 2017, from https://www.facebook.com/hopesolo/posts/10152382566594822
Tracy, S. (2013). Qualitative research methods: Collecting evidence, crafting analysis, communicating impact. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.
Cite This Work
To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:
Related ServicesView all
DMCA / Removal Request
If you are the original writer of this dissertation and no longer wish to have your work published on the UKDiss.com website then please: