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Do you care that Hope Solo’s husband’s been arrested again?

Nov 28, 2012, 6:14 PM EDT

Hope Solo AP

Do you know how many times Amy Rodriguez’s husband’s been arrested? Or Shannon Boxx’s? Or Heather O’Reilly’s or Christie Rampone’s?

Neither do I.

If you did have access to this information, would you care?

Again, neither would I.

As unfair as those questions are to the husbands of Rodriguez, Boxx, O’Reilly and Rampone, it serves a point. People care about Hope Solo’s personal life. A lot. It’s an artifact of the same trans-sport celebrity that’s allowed her to appear on Dancing with the Stars, adorn the cover of Shape magazine, and cash in with an autobiography.

It’s part of the game she’s electing to play, one which she seems to acknowledge (if anything can be discerned by her attitude toward the media), even if she wishes people found better uses for their time.

That Solo’s new husband, former NFL tight end Jerramy Stevens, also has a degree of celebrity makes stories like today’s arrest in Florida automatic blog fodder. ProFootballTalk has the news. Yes, Solo’s bad boy boyfriend’s back in handcuffs. Yes, this adds to the narrative of a rebellious Solo thumbing her nose at the world (to use the nicer of two hand gesture idioms). But isn’t that narrative firmly established?

There’s an undercurrent of misplaced protection in the current dialog about Solo, somebody who has firmly established she can take care of herself. Is Solo too good for him, people have asked? It’s a ridiculously judgmental question. Does Hope know what she’s doing? I don’t know. We didn’t ask these questions about the recently married Rodríguez or O’Reilly. Was Hope the victim of domestic violence? Any assumption to that end is reckless (particularly considering her denial she was assaulted).

At some point, everybody needs to acknowledge that they know almost nothing about Jerramy Stevens and Hope Solo, as a couple. If Stevens is arrested, it’s news, but it’s not a warning sign for Solo, nor is it a reflection on her character, state of mind, or even her celebrity. It would be naive to assume Solo’s unaware of Stevens’ past, just as it’s naive to assume anybody knows more about what’s best for Solo than Mrs. Jerramy Stevens herself.

Jerramy Stevens was arrested on a probation violation today. He’s an ex-NFL player, and he’s married to Hope Solo. That’s about it.

The question I put to you, PST’ers, is whether you care, on what level, and why? Because it seems (at least within the soccer community) that there’s some major Hope Solo fatigue going on, a lot of which has to do with events beyond her control.

  1. briantfobi - Nov 28, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    We shouldn’t care, it’s not relevant to her talent, and it’s a shame that it gets brought up.
    BUT, there is an element of Jackie Robinson to this, in the sense that these female athletes are different than their male counterparts in that part of their mission is to create role models for young girls and to work to change the perception of female athletes. This includes a heavy dose of marketing and selling of personalities.
    If wish that it were the case that we could see these athletes for precisely what they are: amazing athletes who also happen (like all of us) to be flawed people with complex families. But, the fact is that part of their job is to sell soccer to middle-class parents and kids, and for better or worse (worse) that entails striving to meet certain middle-class expectations about their private lives. Which is a shame, because as near as I can tell, the USWNT is filled with some pretty exemplary characters who on the whole would stand up very well compared to elite male athletes in this respect. But, they aren’t just athletes, and as such this type of scrutiny will fall on them.

    • Richard Farley - Nov 28, 2012 at 6:43 PM

      Some real insight here. I can’t deny this line of thought, given the other things I’ve posted today.

      But that’s also part of the motivation behind this post. You talk about middle class expectations, and media coverage has a lot to do with how those expectations are framed. If we had a dialog that put Stevens’ actions in a more appropriate perspective (decoupling them from judgments about Solo), we could have appropriate coverage of Stevens without it influencing Solo’s ability to meet those standards.

      And comments like yours help, of course.

  2. seanb20124 - Nov 28, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    I have a problem that he was on probation for simple possession of marihuana.

  3. manutebol - Nov 28, 2012 at 6:42 PM

    if the “violation of probation” he got arrested for today was just possession of marijuana, then I actually do care… I affirmatively side with Stevens and hope that the violation gets dismissed as soon as possible. what a waste of our judicial resources and taxpayer money.

    • Richard Farley - Nov 28, 2012 at 6:51 PM

      You and Sean B sound like you may be my neighbors here in Portland. Not that my neighbors are overtly 420-friendly, but people are still a little flummoxed by recent election results.

      But I agree. I hope people take the “crime” into consideration before tightening the rope around Stevens.

  4. Steve Davis - Nov 28, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    Important point here: she married a public figure. All rules of the game change at that point.

    And I would argue that Hope Solo, because of Dancing w/ the Stars appearance, magazine cover shots, etc., is more a public figure than Amy Rodriguez, Boxx, etc.

    Just throwing that out there…

    • Richard Farley - Nov 28, 2012 at 7:14 PM

      Completely agree.

      I suppose the /tone/ of that coverage — which is markedly different than the typical, supermarket tabloid coverage — is what I kind most …


    • east96st - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:28 PM

      And would any of us be terribly shocked that she married a public figure specifically to generate more publicity for herself? It’s her life to do with what she pleases. I just wish she would do more of it in private. The TV interviews and “hey, no one’s written a story about me this week” statements to the press have gotten tedious. Plus, I’m not really convinced that having ten of the best women soccer players in the world in front of you makes you an outstanding goalie.

  5. dinklespiel - Nov 28, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    No, I do not care.

  6. Hoss - Nov 28, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    You’d be a moron to believe that anybody actually cared. However, she thrust the spotlight onto herself and there it will stay.

  7. vincentbojackson - Nov 29, 2012 at 12:15 AM

    The former TE of the Seahawks is married the captain of the Millennium Falcon?

    What does this have to do with soccer?

    I’m confused.

  8. magicbucs - Nov 29, 2012 at 12:38 AM

    He got arrested a couple weeks ago for domestic dispute 2 days before they got married. They were arguing about where they wanted to live, Washington or Florida. I’m thinking since marijuana is legal in Washington, Jeremy wants out of Florida….
    Legalize it Florida!!

  9. wfjackson3 - Nov 29, 2012 at 1:11 AM

    Nope, I don’t care.

  10. drewsylvania - Nov 29, 2012 at 8:17 AM

    She married a rapist. That doesn’t get enough play.

  11. perrinbar - Nov 29, 2012 at 10:54 AM

    To expound more on what drewsylvania said, I don’t care about this probation stuff, or his marijuana stuff. But I do care about the fact that all evidence points to Jerramy Stevens being a detestable human being, including the fact that he is likely a rapist.

    In my opinion there are 2 factors at play here:
    1) Hope Solo is famous, beautiful, and outspoken. That means whatever she does is going to get media attention that extends beyond her athletic accomplishments. So, she marries a semi-famous football player and that gets play. The fact that he also happens to have problems staying out of trouble means just another angle for the story.
    2) More importantly Hope Solo, and really all of the USWNT, are imbued with a more symbolic role as female role models. They didn’t ask for it per se, and it isn’t entirely fair to hold them to a standard that they didn’t ask for, but that is the case. I can’t speak for everyone, but it is incredibly disappointing to me to see someone that I’d like to tell my daughter to look up to and who countless young women and girls do admire make what can most charitably be termed “curious” decisions like this. Perhaps complicating it even more is that part of what these women are admired for is their strength, both personal and physical. Marrying someone with the past of physical violence towards women like Jerramy Stevens sends a pretty terrible message to anyone who looks to Hope Solo as a role model of that sort. Is that fair to her, absolutely not, but unfortunately you can’t pick and choose how people decide view you.

    Regardless, my personal experience has been one of profound disappointment, because I admire Hope Solo on the soccer field and wish she was as admirable off. Jerramy Stevens is a terrible person and anyone who marries him clearly has issues. He says from his high horse.

  12. csilojohnson - Nov 30, 2012 at 8:33 AM

    Given how misguided the justice system is, I wouldn’t put much weight on him being on probation.
    80% of my generation is on probation for non violent offenses.
    Just because it’s the “law” does not make it right.

  13. footballer4ever - Dec 1, 2012 at 12:45 AM

    Solo who!!??? Next!

  14. watermelon1 - Dec 3, 2012 at 9:33 AM

    I don’t know why it bothers me, but i cringe when I hear a celebrity is dating another celebrity or former celebrity.

    It seems like these two are only together because they were(she still is) both pro athletes.

    Like stated in the article… Is she just “playing the game” or was this marriage real?

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