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Video: Hope Solo Would Appreciate If You Didn’t Talk About How She Uses Her Sexuality To Get People Talking About Her

Soccer star Hope Solo appeared on The Dan Patrick Show Monday morning in an awkward interview that left the host wondering exactly how far female athletes should go in playing up their sexuality.

Solo clearly wanted to discuss her role with the upcoming Chicago Marathon rather than her rumored appearance on the upcoming season of Dancing With The Stars or her nude photoshoot. Patrick pressed the issue, which led to an angry response from Solo:

Post-interview Patrick criticized the over-sexualization of female athletes, admitting that as the father of three daughters he has a stake in athletes being judged for their ability to play sports rather than their appearance. We agree, and wish Solo had responded more earnestly to his queries.

Follow Timothy on Twitter at @bubbaprog.

  • Anonymous

    If he was that worried about the exploitation of female athletes by the media (for the sake of his two girls as he says) why was he, the media, persistently trying to get Hope Solo to talk about this sex symbol thing instead of the Chicago Marathon topic she was trying to steer them back to? If he did any research at all he’d know she prefers not to talk about herself like that and would rather talk soccer. If he really wanted to do something positive for female athletes he’d do some brushing up on soccer and let her talk about the Chicago Marathon.

    Pretty much every top athlete in any sport is in ESPN’s Body Issue. Tim Howard was in it so why can’t Hope Solo be? Being in the Body Issue is a traditional sports star thing to do for male and female athletes. It’s is mild stuff as far as nudity goes and typically well done in the photography side of it. It shows healthy, athletic bodies instead of starved waifs like people normally see 24/7. She’d be no better or worse for doing it than the long list of other athletes who have been in it without media comment. It is pretty much a non-issue unless you do no research or ignore the facts…or just want a titillating story like this guy.

  • ozzy1399

    She threw her teammate under the bus.  She deserves nothing.

  • Anonymous

    She more than paid for her comment back in 2007, the coach was fired for his original offense against her and the team that started the whole thing in the first place, and she came back a year later and won us the gold in 2008. Case closed.

  • http://twitter.com/pyrosis DuJuan Scott

    Funny how people use their daughters as an excuse to criticize women in the media.  Patrick should be the one telling his daughters how they should present themselves in the public, not expecting someone else to do it for him.  As for the posing nude, the ESPN Body issues doesn’t show any Naughty Bits (that mag actually shows more male skin than female skin).  And Dancing with the Stars has a high female audience anyway, so if Solo does go there, she will be marketing herself to a female audience which is kind of what female athletes should be doing.

    And society seems to like attractive women?  Imagine that.  No matter how hard female athletes try to neuter themselves, people are still going to see their looks.  It’s how people are hardwired.  Besides, when big companies are throwing big money at you, it’s pretty easy to justify certain compromises.

  • Anonymous

    Excellent post!  Dan Patrick was out-of-line when he said something like ‘how can you pose nude and not be able to dance?’  Like you said, being in the ESPN Body Issue is not the same as “nude pictures.” Is everyone (male and female) that have been on the ESPN Body Issue is supposed to know how to dance the type of dancing that they do on Dancing with the Stars? Women’s have to dance in high heels.  As a soccer fan, I do not want to see Hope Solo get hurt  dancing.

  • Doug

    “angry” response?  Didn’t hear any.  It’s a legitimate line of questioning, though.

  • Joemaf78

    Dan Patrick was not comparing the ability to dance with the ability to pose nude. Solo was speaking of nervousness about dancing in front of national audience to which Patrick made the comparison.

  • Joemaf78

    Dan Patrick is a member of the media. If Hope Solo didn’t pose nude (tasteful or not), then Patrick would not have brought up sexuality. However, she did so Solo must expect questions from the media. And there is nothing wrong with him asking about Dancing with the Stars..which she hints about on her facebook page.  So those dissing Dan Patrick need to do their homework.

  • http://twitter.com/NicholasWNelson Nick Nelson

    Briana Scurry threw herself under the bus by being the inferior goalkeeper. It really is that simple.

  • Marcuse

    She’s not naive and can’t expect to have it both ways.  She plays in a sport that’s not much on the radar in America. If she’s really trying to lift the profile of Women’s US Soccer, posing nude only trivializes her supposed commitment at trying to legitimately raise the sport.  Ms Solo cares chiefly about one person: Herself alone.  Talented on the field, yes. But outside her comfort zone offfield she’s showing her true colors: A major ego problem. Clearly she’s using her looks for endorsements, why not just flirt and play up to that angle like Sharapova or Serena do in Tennis? 
    If Women’s soccer wants to be taken seriously based solely on their skills and not on their individual looks, maybe it’s time to promote players who aren’t “known” for their looks. That way sports fans will only see the players’ talent. Solo knows exactly what she’s doing, doesnt mind getting paid for it, and perhaps has some alterior motive down the road. It’s all about her = it’s not really chiefly about the game per se.
    In her mind she’s done all she can for the game so now it’s time to get paid and promote herself, the “face” of the game and only ask her questions that she wants to answer. Those are the aspects of a self-centered adolescent diva.  Time to grow up, Solo. Put down the ego and pick up the graciousness, humililty, and class like Wombach. Until that happens, it’s all about Solo.

  • Marcuse

    That is being completely naive.  Solo knows exactly what she’s doing. If she truly wants to promote women’s soccer she wouldnt have appeared at this time in the nude issue when folks are gonna talk about it. Also, she appeared in a glamour spread for W. How the hell exactly do any of these things promote women’s soccer? They dont, they promote her. She actually talks about quite a few things, not just soccer, so you should do your homework. She wants to control the ball on her terms.
    This isnt stoppage time, this is real life and you can’t dictate to a show host how to run his own show. Also, if you truly want to promote women’s soccer then go for a player like Abby Wombach who isn’t “known” for her looks per se but is known for her soccer ability as much as Solo.  Abby was just named head coach of her team. Quite an achievement and it suggests Abby more than cares about the game and less about herself.  But to suggest that Solo had no idea she’d get asked these types of questions is truly naive. She knows exactly what she’s doing and for the most part, it’s all about herself.

  • Marcuse

    Also keep in mind. The Chicago marathon’s in October, about 2 months away.  The ESPN nude pictorial is coming out much sooner so from a sports news feature story it’s way more relevant at this moment. Most people dont sit glued to the sets watching an entire Marathon during the fall anyway, so really who cares about it as a spectator sport per se? No one.

  • Marcuse

    No, that’s not what he meant. He meant “how come it’s okay to pose nude, [and thus "using" your sexuality to titilliate guys] but it’s not okay to make 1 or 2 lame appearances on DWTS?” And, since she did a glamour shoot for W magazine, why not appear on DWTS? Preferably during February sweeps when it could then lead into her Gatorade ads right in time for Olympics ’12.

     Obviously Patrick or anyone in the media doesnt expect her to dance well. The point is that if she goes on that show, it will give her a greater impact, she’d be marketing herself to mainstream audiences, much larger than a marathon no one’s gonna watch.

    Also, believe it or not, DWTS is not really about using sexuality per se, it’s more about stars out of their element, trying to dance around 5-10 minutes on stage. A really excellent question Patrick should’ve asked her would’ve been “You keep getting asked about going on  DWTS, how come you wont clear it up and why would those questions go away?”  DWTS questions dont go away because she wont clear it up, thus suggesting once again that  it’s all about herself and any attention is good attention, especially for securing future endorsements.

    Makes one wonder if she wont make an appearance on DWTS slated for Feb ’12. It leads into Gatorade ads and London Olympics 12.

  • Jimmy

    If she can pose nude and show off her bod (even in a PG-13 way) why not give DWTS a whirl? No one expects her to dance well. Plus the exposure would only benefit her down the road.

  • Jimmy

    KEEP IN MIND: Solo has been the US women’s goal keeper since ’05. She wasnt on the radar map of mainstream sports to mid/late last yr. So, in that time frame, she won a gold medal, won 09 goal keeper of the yr for women’s soccer, etc. She’s won her share of accolades for her soccer skills. To suggest now that she’s being treated “unfairly” due to folks noticing her looks, is completely ridiculous. She knows what she’s doing. She wants to get bling. Women’s soccer doesnt pay near even 10% what US top athletes get per yr. In her mind she’s their peer, their equal and has the medal and awards to back it up. Why shouldn’t she get paid?
    Well, you’re not gonna get paid in America soley on your soccer skills. It’s not a major sport here, so who really cares?  The money comes from endorsements. But if you’re not “marketeable” (somewhat good looking) you wont get them. How come no one lines up to endorse Abby Wombach to the same level as Solo? Abby’s just as good a soccer player. Why not endorse her? The answer’s obvious.
    When it comes down to it: People say they want to promote women athletes based on their skills but really they dont. In TV marketing and publicity, just as in mainstream society, looks are chiefly what count.  We see  this in school, in job promotion, study after study confirms that the best looking people tend to get most of the kudos, rewards, and the benefits in life. So it’s crazy to say it’s all about what you do on the field.  If this is the ideal world yes. But we dont live in the ideal world.
     No one really cares about a one dimensional boring athlete who only talks sports sports sports 24/7, they can’t relate to that person. Thus the only way to get the endorsements is to use whatever outside non-sports “talents” “abilities” whatever you want to call it to get the payoff. In her case, that’s her good looks.  If Solo didnt have good looks, she would have to rely on her personality (and there have been famous ugly athletes but with great personalities who also get the endorsements).

    Also, athletes are very competitive with each other.  In Solo’s case, she wants to be the “face” of women’s soccer. Which means that no one else can get the same amound of pub and ink as her. SHE alone must be the first name you think of in women’s soccer. To do that she has to use her looks to get more endorsements and thus more bling.

    And since she wants to be the face of women’s soccer off the field as well, that means she has to play the game with her looks and since she’s willing to do so, it does suggest like the previous poster, that it is mostly and solely all about herself. 

  • Anonymous

    She answered his questions, even the sketchy ones, pretty directly. He was just frustrated she answered them well and to the point so he pushed too far and then she changed the subject. That’s his fault. She went along with it as far as anyone needed to go. If he wanted some tantalizing details or some indication of female shame over it all he wasn’t going to get it from her. I can’t really figure out where he was going with it because even though she answered him pretty quickly and completely apparently it wasn’t fitting into his agenda. She went along with it as long as she needed to.

    She said:   
    a) If he wants to know about DWTS he can wait for the show to announce it. It doesn’t seem like a good fit for her and if he did his research he’d know that. What else is she supposed to say?
    b) She likes ESPN, the have supported women’s soccer a lot, so she decided to do a shoot with them since they have a good track record. (It’s the ESPN Body Issue, not a nudie magazine, so she doesn’t need to talk about his hypothetical nudie mag implications. He knows it is for the Body Issue. He’s the one pretending it is something that it isn’t. She doesn’t need to respond to that tactic more than she did.)
    c) People watched the World Cub because the USWNT are great athletes, not because they are sex symbols. I was getting a little pissed at this point. How degrading she even had to point that out to him. 
    d) she knows the media has both a short and selective attention span, that sex sells, and that it is reality everyone has to work in. While all that is true she hasn’t done anything to be ashamed of. Which was why putting up strawman to tear down wasn’t the right tactic for him.

    The fact is there are only a few people the media have bothered to pay attention to. Solo, Morgan and Wambach. Morgan is still playing WPS with the Flash and up until a few days ago Wambach in the playoffs too. With her arm in rehab still Solo was the only one available to do appearances like this. Morgan and Wambach are both running with her in the Marathon and will be starting to promote things more once the WPS playoffs are over. They also have their own promotions to do outside of hers.

    I don’t know how anyone can question Solo caring about the game any more or less than Wambach or other WNT players. She went through a nightmare surgery and 6 hrs a day rehab for 9 months to come back to play in the WC before she was even healed. A person doesn’t destroy their body like that because they want the end result to be a media tour. And if selling out is doing charity work and a photo shoot for ESPN then you haven’t got out much. If you want her to be less pretty to make YOU more comfortable she’d have to put a bag over her head. She is the number 1 female GKer in the world AND she is pretty. She can’t stop being either of those things and should not have to. No more than Tim Howard would. Tim Howard has done everything she has (even the Body Issue) but doesn’t have to put up with this crap.

  • Anonymous

    She answered his question. She likes ESPN, they have been a big supporter of women’s soccer, so she did the shoot. That was her answer. He was the one trying to imply there was some shame in being in it as if it were a nudie mag and she didn’t bite on that as the Body Issue clearly isn’t that kind of mag. Why should she answer his strawman question? He is well aware that Body Issue isn’t Playboy.  

  • Anonymous

    Has being in the Body Issue trivialized the long list of other athletes and their sports? Isn’t ego sort of a common denominator for top sports stars and strong people in general? Because Michael Jordan was a humblebot, right? But he’s a guy so it is ok. 

    It really sounds like you’d only be comfortable with her if she put a bag on her head for being too pretty and apologized for being a women and straying from obscurity somewhere. She is the number one female GKr in the world, one of the hardest positions to play in any sport, and because she’s also pretty and not a pushover she shouldn’t be seen in public until she changes into someone more palatable to you? 

    By her resume alone she has every right to be where she is. Her conduct outside of that is immaculate too. Certainly in comparison to the male sports stars out there. If the media is still trying to catch up with the times as far as looks go that isn’t her fault. 

  • Anonymous

    They go off to train for the Olympics long before it happens. The first friendly against Canada is in mid September of this year and she said she’d be there. They don’t just show up off the street on opening day. If she does go on DWTS it would be a special circumstance, a very big risk to her shoulder (or ankles), and she’d be missing team responsibilities which would have to get cleared by the coach. Seems like a big hassle to me and to anyone who has taken a second to look into how it works. 

    Doesn’t mean she can’t do DWTS, but it does mean she’d have to go way out of her way to do it with a high risk. It is far more likely she’d do something a year from now after the Olympics. Maybe that’s why she hasn’t said anything negative about the show. No use burning bridges. DWTS might have asked her not to say one way or another for their own reasons too. They are getting pub out of this themselves.

  • Marcuse

    She knows exactly what she is doing, at all times regarding her career. Its nice of you to repeat some of the talking points. She also appeared in a glamour shoot for W. The reason people pay attention to her is cause: yes, she is at the top of the game, the elite, but also it’s cause she welcomes the publicity.  No one is forcing her to do all these gosh they’re so hard public appearances, come on.  She can simply stay home and say nothing til next yr before the Olympics.

    Whats crap?  Using your looks to get paid? Come on, dude!  She’d neeever do such a thing. I know, how dare all those guys notice that she’s pretty. How dare they?  It must be all those  non soccer sexist sports fans who aren’t focusing on the right things. Of coursee they’re supposed to just see great playing and skill and not beauty.  Again, then focus on Abby Wombach and players like her. See how far that lasts.

    Tim howard isn’t the huge superstar in America compared to say Jeter Arod, Pujols, Manning, Brady, Kobe, Shaq. If YOU think that he is as big a star as they are (in America) then you’re living in a delusional fantasy world. MLS doesnt get half the attention as NFL MLB NBA etc and WPS gets even less than that. Be real.  We get that you’re either part of her PR team or are one of the adoring fans.

    1She should say “Im not gonna do DWTS. Pure and simple. Never gonna do it.” THAT’s How you answer it.  Not everyone listening in is aware of the DWTS future list.
    See, these types of questions help brand her as more human. More 3D. Not just some boring ol’ sports sports sports 1dimensional dumb jock who can’t converse about other things in life except their sport.  At end of day, who gives a big whoop?  Answer No on. You dont get the big endorsement deals by being boring vanilla teamwork teamwork.  You get them based on talent, AND looks AND an interesting personality.
    She didnt have to agree to do the interviews. She could stay home, just focus on rehabs, say nothing, dont do any endorsements, turn them all down and focus instead on 12 Olympics. There are players who do that, you know. Is she doing that? Hell no.  She doesnt mind getting paid. Especially since WPS players dont even make 10% in salary what MLB NFL etc do.  You really think Solo earns as much as Jeter or Arod in salary? Guess again. Not even 10%.

    NO that’s NOT WHY the world cup got lots of viewers. Not completely. NFL had a lockout, MLB was in all star break mode, and NBA and NHL was off for the season.  THat’s a major part. THere wasnt anything else on to really watch in early july, sports wise. You have to be real. Let’s be real.  Here’s how I’m right: The world cup in 03 and 2007 didnt get anywhere near the ratings that this yrs did. The 2003 team still had Mia Hamm and many others from the 99 world cup winners. How come neither team got the ratings?  Cause MLB NFL NBA etc were on during same months. SO yes, out of sheer boredom, nothing on in mid July, folks not normally watching soccer tuned in.

    How is WPS doing right now, ratings wise or attendance wise? Oh, that’s right, not well at all. HIgh school football attendance average 10 times what a typical WPS team does.  And with only 6 teams cause a few folded last yr, doesnt look like a booming bright future for women’s soccer. Womens world cup, yes. But that hasnt translated into women’s professional soccer. So enough bs, let’s get real.

    Actually, no, you’re wrong.  Morgan at 22 is just starting out, so she’s not quite on the Alist radar.  Wambach doesnt have as many promotions to do to the same level as Solo’s so that a lie or at best, a misleading statement.  In our society, looks sell and count the most. Wanna bet who continues to get the most endorsement offers?  I dont notice Solo turning many of them down. She cares about herself. She feels she’s already done all she can to help women’s soccer over the years now it’s time to focus a little on herself.  She rehabbed back to win the world cup. They lost, shes moving on.  Meanwhile, youre foolish if you think she doesnt want her share of the money. She has to look to her future NOW. She may not have many peek yrs left to play. She has to see to it that she gets paid now.

    You seem to have a problem admiting or conceeding that Solo has a temper problem or is anything less than perfect 100% of the time in public.  She has been known to blow up in public on the field, curse out refs, and display a Mel Gibson like raging temper.  Sometimes the ego attitude shines thru for her. We get that youre a fan on her side she can do no wrong.  She’s not perfect saint.

    SO, remember: She’s been the Women’s goal keeper since 05 and she was the number 1 goal keeper in world since around 08. She didnt register jack on the mainstream radar until last yr with the Nike ads. She is not above doing what it takes to make money for herself.

    The truth is probably in the middle of what you and I have said.  (though you’re still doing some of the talking points, about the shoulder, fight to come back and play, etc.  Makes for more endorsements down the road, the courageous angle) 
    She is not above getting more endorsements for herself. She wont be playing professional soccer forever, and the straight salary of what she gets from WPS won’t pay for much of anything.

    If you’re in the public eye, it’s cause you want to be.  Why did her twitter fanbase jump so high over the last feIFw months?  Sex sells.  A private person appearing in a body issue, tweeting about tons of stuff not related to soccer at all, and appearing in non-sports related venues that have nothing to do whatsoever with soccer? Of course it’s all about the game….riiiiggght. Now who’s being the fool now? Look in the mirror.  It’s about herself, solely. Yes, soccer too, but mostly, its about herself. ANd if she can get fans to become fools and not see that, her PR is really among the best there is. 


  • Anonymous

    I’m just a fan, not PR. I have been a fan since around 2003 and have seen her ups and downs. She isn’t a perfect person. That would be boring and unrealistic. People who are sure of themselves because they can back it up by being the best are way more interesting to me than humblebots. She is 100% about soccer just like her teammates and has the scars to prove it. No one goes through her ups and downs that long without that being a fact. Being 100% about soccer doesn’t mean you have to live under a rock no more than it does for other athletes. She isn’t unlike other sports stars who get endorsement or have an ego or whatever but no one is taking this tone with Dwight Howard (I guessed you needed a bigger star since you don’t know anyone in soccer. The list is online if you need more examples.) about his stint in the Body Issue. If they did no one would question him giving the exact same answer she did. Acting as though that photoshoot was somehow so abnormal for the scope of an athlete that she needs to make special apologies for it and the state of society and her entire gender blah blah blah and then taking offense when she doesn’t bite is a little disingenuous. Strawman remember.  

    Marta and Wambach are the top moneymakers in female soccer and have long had endorsements. Wambach actually shares this one with Solo. Marta beats them both out per year. This is easy to Google. Being the top GK earns her a right to be up there with them. If it has taken this long for anyone to notice that isn’t her problem. They should have been noticing much earlier. Venturing back to the radio interview… It was normal, mild Solo the whole time. She answered his questions as far as she needed to. The strawman questions were left where anyone with dignity would leave them. If she made millions of bucks she still wouldn’t owe anyone more than the answers she gave as they all were perfectly fine. If he or you are mad she didn’t  bite on them and take it whatever direction you think would be more appropriate for your agenda  you all should take a good look at yourselves first. Why wasn’t her reasonable answers enough for you? 

  • Whocares

    Solo is a female soccer goalkeeper for christ sake…Who cares what she thinks. Women’s soccer is two levels below Women’s basketball which even that,  is not even on the sports radar. The media and sponsors like Nike which made a commercial of the Women’s USA soccer team walking out a stadium tunnel, look more like pre-pubesant boys that were dressed in uniforms simular to the Nazi youth of old Germany, have to take advantage like all Americans seem to do, in cashing in on thier 15 minutes of fame. Whether Solo is nice, or not is of no concequence…women’s soccer will be in the basement of sports popularity until once every 4 years in the Olympics and then world cup. I hope every single reporter in this world asks Solo just pertainant sports questions like how did the USA Womens soccer team lose to little Japan who they domintated for most of the game , and ask her for detailed answers. Solo and women’s soccer…LOL!!!

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