Wednesday, June 29, 2011

NOT THAT I AGREE WITH ALL OF THIS: But the idea that Hope Solo's falling out with Greg Ryan back at the last World Cup was a big, watershed moment for American women's soccer a la Chastain's sports bra is an interesting one. I'm also struck by this quote from Solo herself:

"We needed some change (in 2007)," Solo said Saturday in a phone interview from Niketown in New York City. "People like to keep everything so positive -- like we're the girls next door. We like to do everything together, and all that. Why are we sugarcoating? Just because we're teammates doesn't mean we're all best friends. But that's how women's sport have been portrayed. We're not your girls next door. We have opinions, we have arguments."

Because the Hamm-dominated teams were portrayed that way, neatly packaged by Nike as safe for consumption by little girls. And post-Solo the national teams aren't that way anymore, they're edgier, meaner. Definitely more personality-laden. (Remember how great a vector Hamm was for endorsements? Solo talks too much to be much use for that--and it is of course sexist that she can't sell products but, like, Charles Barkley can, who is also a talker/sayer of incorrect things.) And I remember thinking back then, "Wow, we're having a major media dustup involving female athletes complaining about playing time! JUST LIKE THE DUDES!"

Where that post above goes wrong, I think, is when it claims Solo was vilified because she's a woman. I mean, 1. she wasn't universally vilified; I remember there being legit debate over what she said, and of course in hindsight she was right, she should have been there instead of Scurry; and 2. just look at LeBron. All he did is switch teams and have a tv special about it and he's American sports worse than Hitler. Americans are perfectly willing to vilify anyone whose lifestyles we fund via ticket prices and shoe sales, because we PAY THEIR SALARIES GOLDERNIT and we have that right. And I would say even accounting for their relative size of their fames LeBron is getting it much worse than Solo.

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