Keith Olbermann called for the dismissal of U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati and women’s national team coach Jill Ellis for failing to suspend Hope Solo in the wake of fresh accusations that the goalkeeper assaulted her half-sister and nephew during a domestic incident.
"Solo deserves immediate suspension with all rights of appeal," the ESPN commentator said Tuesday on his show, USA Today reported
"Ms. Ellis and Mr. Gulati, however, who have shown this condescending attitude of a sports first, reality second — protect the bubble of all times — and have been the worst possible role models for and the worst possible representatives of this country should be immediately dismissed."
Solo was arrested June 21, 2014 during a domestic dispute between her, her half-sister Teresa Obert, and Obert's then-17-year-old son. The case was dropped in January on procedural grounds, with the judge ruling that Obert and her son were uncooperative. The city of Kirkland, Washington, has since filed an appeal, meaning the case is not closed for good.
Solo then went on "Good Morning America" in February, and claimed that she was the real victim — and that the case was closed.
That interview prompted Obert to sit down with ESPN for her own interview that aired Sunday.
"I felt like I had just been kicked in the head," Obert told ESPN. "[Solo] should have been happy, but then, randomly, she goes on 'Good Morning America' and lies. I was very upset. It never had anything to do with [my son's] size. She has tried to make him feel small his whole life. He's not aggressive. She's a trained athlete. She's strong."
With the appeal still pending and Obert offering a conflicting report of what happened that fateful night in June of last year, Olbermann noted that president Gulati "has not yet risen even to the initial minimum standard of responsibility [NFL Commissioner] Roger Goodell got to on his own" regarding the Ray Rice case. Similarly, Olbermann said coach Ellis was "willfully ignoring unresolved domestic violence charges against her star goalie."
"And unlike the NFL cases, these are not merely professional athletes in professional sports that we are talking about. Hope Solo, Jill Ellis, and president Sunil Gulati are representing this country – you and me – and clearly none of them is qualified to do so. Certainly not now," he concluded.
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