In society today, it is no secret that celebrities get a special treatment when it comes to breaking the law, especially when those celebrities are also professional athletes. And of course, leave it to the media to find a way to bring sexism into the mix.
In the world of sports, athletes such as Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson are no strangers to legal charges, as both of them have been charged with some form of domestic abuse. Both of these athletes have endured copious amounts of consequences to their actions, including publicizing their negative reputation. As a result of all the media attention, Rice and Peterson have also been suspended indefinitely. However, my question is, would they have received as much punishment if they were women committing the same crime?
Within the last year, Hope Solo, goalie for the U.S women’s soccer team, was charged with two misdemeanor counts of fourth-degree assault as a result of an altercation between her and two of her family members. Although I am a huge fan of Solo and the women’s soccer team, I do not think enough action or publicity was taken in relation to this situation. In an ESPN article, Solo Domestic Abuse Charges Dropped, the news announced that the judge assigned to the case has dropped the charges due to lack of interviews from the victims. The article also stated that Solo did not appear in court because she was attending a training camp with the permission of the judge, which in my opinion, does not seem fair at all. Other male athletes received so much publicity for their domestic abuse cases and were removed from playing while charges were pending, but that was never the case for Solo. Furthermore, ESPN unnecessarily made a point to mention that Solo has won two olympic gold medals with the soccer team, because that is really going to help her get rid of the charges.
The fact of the matter is, the double standard that the media portrays toward this issue is not acceptable. Domestic violence is still a serious crime no matter what sex you are. The fact that Solo’s case received little publicity and was passed off as unimportant is truly appalling. It is honestly sad that the media has not realized this yet.