Ban Hope Solo from 2016 Olympics, columnist says

Christine Brennan, a USA Today columnist, has appointed herself judge, jury, and executioner in Hope Solo’s newly revived  criminal case.

brennanEven though no trial date has been set, even though neither side has presented a single argument or called a single witness, even though not one shred of actual evidence has been presented, Brennan has concluded that Solo is guilty — a conclusion based, apparently, on something she saw about the case on ESPN.

Never mind that bothersome principle of law known as the presumption of innocence. You know, the one that says anyone accused of a crime in America is innocent until the state proves otherwise.

Hope Solo in court in Kirkland, Wash., Aug. 11, 2014.

Hope Solo in court in Kirkland, Wash., Aug. 11, 2014.

Never mind that there are conflicting accounts of what happened on that June night in 2014 when Solo was arrested after a drunken melee involving her half-sister and nephew.

Never mind the questionable behavior and dubious reliability of Solo’s accusers. Never mind that they’ve changed their stories over time, that they failed repeatedly to appear for court-ordered depositions, that they refused to answer pertinent questions from Solo’s lawyers, that, by their own admission, they destroyed physical evidence in the case.

hope court

Never mind any of that. The columnist has reached her verdict:

Guilty.

And since Solo is guilty, she should save us all a lot of time and just confess:

Solo, 34, should admit that violence did occur that night, and that she played a significant role in it. She should tell the truth and deal with the results. 

Brennan, in her hubris and sanctimony, refuses even to consider the possibility that Solo already told the truth. Solo has said in interviews that she acted in self-defense on the night in question, that she was the victim, not the perpetrator, of domestic violence.

Brennan dismisses this out of hand. She knows better. She knows what she’s seen on television and read in magazines. Solo is a liar.

In addition to advising the defendant on what she should do, Brennan has a few suggestions for the prosecutors:

One would think that prosecutors would be willing to work with her on some kind of reduced charge that would involve counseling, restitution and perhaps community service.

And she knows what Solo’s punishment should be:

U.S. Soccer should throw the book at Solo, suspending her through the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games. 

And if U.S. Soccer doesn’t agree with her, then a higher authority should step in:

The U.S. Olympic Committee should make it abundantly clear that a person charged with domestic violence has given up her privilege to be named an Olympian in 2016.

Note that Brennan doesn’t say “a person guilty of domestic violence.” She says “a person charged with domestic violence.” It makes no difference to her that the charges may prove to be unsubstantiated.

If I thought for a second that anyone cared what newspaper columnists say, I would find all of this troubling.

hope court

Hope Solo & Co. leaving court, Aug. 11, 2014.

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