It’s not just Hollywood and politics. Anywhere people find themselves in positions of power, they can abuse it to get away with victimizing those below them.
That includes the world of sports.
The most recent accusation comes from Hope Solo, the goalie of the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team, who told Portuguese magazine Expresso that former FIFA president Sepp Blatter groped her at the Ballon D’Or ceremony in 2013.
In an interview in which Solo was being asked to give her two cents about the flood of allegations against creeps in power, she threw in a lot more.
Here’s the relevant interview excerpt:
Expresso: For the last few weeks, we’ve had all these personalities in Hollywood sharing their experiences with sexual harassment. Is that an issue also in female soccer?
Solo: Of course it is.
Expresso: Have you experienced it? Have you seen it?
Solo: Yes, I’ve seen it throughout my entire career. And I wish more female athletes would speak out about their own experiences. It’s rampant, it’s not just in Hollywood, it’s probably all over the place. I’ve seen it in sports. For years, in the past, female players date and end up marrying their college coaches, which obviously a coach should not be doing, especially with a young player. I’ve seen it not just with coaches, I’ve seen it with trainers, doctors, and our press officers… I’ve seen it amongst players in the locker room. I don’t know why more players don’t speak out against it.
Expresso: Do you think we are at a tipping point of change in society towards these issues? Do you believe the Pandora box has been opened? Everyone knew this was going on for years, in fashion, in sports, in business, but no one was talking about it.
Solo: I had Sepp Blatter grab my ass.
Solo: You know Sepp Blatter?
Expresso: Of course.
Solo: OK. I had Sepp Blatter grab my ass [turns towards her press assistant, Melinda Travis]. Can I talk about that? It was at the Ballon D’or one year [Solo presented the FIFA’s women’s player of the year award in January 2013 and shared the stage with the now disgraced former FIFA president], right before I went on stage… It’s been normalized.
He was apparently so ready to get away with it, he did it in a huge, star-studded event. Gross.
Solo was likely asked because of this Instagram post alluding to the behavior from about three weeks ago:
For the past few days, I have been thinking about all the uncomfortable situations myself and/or my teammates have experienced throughout the years with trainers, doctors, coaches, executives and even teammates. From inappropriate comments, unwanted advances and grabs of the ass to coaches and GMs and even press officers speaking about players “tits” and physical appearance, sexual harassment is rampant in the sports world. I always felt I├óΓé¼Γäód “handled it” and stood up for myself in those situations, but there were never any consequences for the perpetrators. That needs to change. Silence will not change the world! #MeTooA post shared by Hope Solo (@hopesolo) on Oct 16, 2017 at 3:42pm PDT
Guess we know where the “grabs of the ass” mention comes from.
“This allegation is ridiculous.”
Ridiculous that it has to be made in the first place — not that unbelievable though.
[Image via FayesVision/WENN.]