Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The empowerment potential of sport for women? N of 1

I'm pretty sure there was something I was supposed to blog about in the wake of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS) annual meeting in New Orleans last night. But I can't remember what it is. So instead thanks to one of my NOLA roomies, Dr. Pants, I will blog about Hope Solo instead.
Dr. Pants is a big fan of Hope Solo; she even read her auto(ish)biography Solo: A Memoir of Hope. I personally am not a Solo fan and though I considered reading the memoir for scholarly purposes, I couldn't get past the title.
I might be interested in some version of a sequel, however, given the latest news about Solo that I received from Dr. Pants.
Hope Solo is married!
She also hosted a party of a small group of friends a few days ago which resulted in the arrest of her then-fiance Jerramy Stevens. There was some alcohol, there was fighting (apparently over where the happy couple was to live), there was pushing and shoving and maybe some hitting. There was blood on Solo's elbow and blood on the shirt of Stevens who was found hiding in the upstairs bedroom when police arrived on the scene.

Solo was not supportive of the arrest of her then-fiance. She pleaded with officers not to take Stevens and told her brother not to tell the police anything (he was original tattletale apparently--he called the police). This is a little like a high school party gone awry.
Except more serious. These party-goers are not being taken home for chastisement from parental units. Stevens was taken to jail in the wee hours of Monday morning and released after a hearing yesterday. (The blood on the elbow, blood on the shirt connection was not--unsurprisingly--enough evidence.) There will be a follow-up investigation by the Family Violence Unit.
But their plans to get married on Tuesday were not interrupted. According to various news sources--and Twitter, too!--they got married Tuesday night.
I'm not the best person to comment on a short courtship, but I'm going to suggest that two months seems like not quite enough time to get to know someone.
I mean could Solo even get through the list of Stevens's encounters with law enforcement in that time? The former UW star and Buccaneers tight end has a decade and a half history of arrests and investigations, which started when he was in high school. Highlights:
  • felony assault in high school (altered to misdemeanor=keep football scholarship to UW)
  • investigated for sexual assault (no charges)
  • reckless driving and leaving scene of the accident
  • DUI--more than once
  • possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia with intent to sell (this lead to his release from the Bucs)
I think there are mistakes one makes when one is young. Or mistakes when one is a little bit famous. Factors need to be considered. What drives one to commit crime? To be violent? To sell drugs? How complicit are the various discriminatory structures in our society: education, sport? I think forgiveness can be proffered. 
But history matters. And you can understand why someone does something illegal and the sociocultural forces at work, but still not marry that person.
Oh, Nike and your false promises. When we asked to play sports, you all agreed because it meant (among other things) that we were "more likely to leave a man who beats [us]." I guess in addition to the other problematic promises, more likely is not entirely likely.


Diane said...

You are (were) in New Orleans at the best possible time of year. I hope you got to see something besides the hotel.

ken said...

I was down there last spring too and it was pretty nice. Got out of the hotel quite often. Runs on the riverwalk and strolls in the French Quarter. Didn't get to the Garden District though :(