Hope Solo Plays Nasty On Twitter With Double Gold Medalist, NBC Soccer Analyst Brandi Chastain

It wasn’t too long ago when media organizations were deciding if quoting athletes’ from their Twitter feeds was appropriate. Now the Associated Press, the international news service, has dedicated multiple 600-word articles about athletes criticizing each other on Twitter during the Summer Olympics.

The current Twitter rant is between current U.S. soccer goalkeeper Hope Solo and NBC Sports analyst Brandi Chastain, the retired U.S. women’s soccer double gold medalist.

Hope Solo (L) and Brandi Chastain

Solo blasted Chastain following the Americans’ 3-0 win over Colombia last Saturday, saying the popular former player should “lay off commentating about defending” and goalkeeping “until you get more educated” and “the game has changed from a decade ago.”

Chastain has responded to Solo’s remarks only briefly, saying, according to the AP, she commenting as an “honest and objective journalist at the Olympics.”

NBC, Chastain’s employer, is apparently more sensitive. It believes the Twitter banter was important enough to issue a statement:

“We are thrilled to be able to offer such complete and compelling coverage of the entire Olympic soccer tournament, and Brandi has been doing an outstanding job,” NBC spokesman Adam Freifeld said. “We wish the U.S. women’s team the best of luck.”

When asked about her strong opinion, Soto commented:

“It’s not about what made me unhappy. It’s not about one game. I have my beliefs that the best commentators and the best analysts should be analyzing come Olympics, come World Cups, and it’s only my opinion. You can take it or leave it, to be honest, so it’s my opinion, and I think analysts and commentators should bring energy and excitement and passion for the game, and a lot of knowledge, and I think it’s important to help build the game, and I don’t think Brandi has that.

“It’s just my opinion, and nothing else really matters, to be honest. What matters is tomorrow’s game against North Korea, playing at Old Trafford. The team’s excited. It’s my birthday. I don’t really care to answer any other questions about Brandi.”

The Twitter exchanges also attracted concern and a subsequent meeting among the U.S. team’s coaching staff and team captains to discuss the team’s image. Solo is known for her strong opinions, and she was kicked off the 2007 World Cup team for criticizing former coach Greg Ryan.

The U.S. will play North Korea on Tuesday at Old Trafford, the home playing field famous men’s squad, Manchester United. The stadium hasn’t hosted a women’s match since 1989 and an estimated record-crowd of 35,000 is expected.

James Raia is an editor and publisher in Sacramento, California. Visit his site: www.tourdefrancelife.com


  1. […] get that Twitter is off the cuff commentary that should be instantly forgotten (following Brandi Chastain’s example) and that telling critics to shut up on Twitter is kindling fueling the #NBCfail […]

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