Who knew promoting an autobiography could be so hard? This week, as Hope Solo made the rounds to almost every talk show imaginable promoting her new autobiography "Solo: A Memoir of Hope," I couldn't help but notice some of the malicious questions she was asked.
When Hope went on shows like "Morning Joe" and "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon," she was mostly asked soft ball questions about her performance and experience at the London Olympics. It helped in those appearances that she had her much earned gold medal around her neck.
Jimmy Fallon, being his normal nervous and jittery self, fumbled through his interview with Hope - it was the personification of six minutes of nervous, dead air on television. However, at least Mr. Fallon asked her a few questions about what was in her book. He also asked her about her negative tweets directed at Brandi Chastain, and Hope never wavered on her opinion that she thought Chastain was a poor soccer analyst.
Solo, on "The Herd," which was guest hosted by Jonathan Coachman and Freddie Coleman, was asked about her Chastain tweets and how that played a role in her focus during the Olympics. The guest hosts tried to stir the pot as much as possible, but Hope nipped it immediately by giving them excellent answers. When they knew she wasn't biting on their Chastain questions, they finally turned to her book.
I know Hope has put herself out there to draw criticism, but questioning her focus during the London Olympics was very disrespectful; as if Hope couldn't give her opinion of Chastain's analyst and not be focused on her role as America's goalkeeper. That's a new low for an ESPN talking head.
It got weirder and worse when she went on "First Take." Once again, she was asked about the Chastain tweets and, like before, she defended her opinion superbly. Skip Bayless commended her for not wavering on her view, which I found surprising. Then, out of left field, Stephen A. Smith asked Hope about Nike's "Gold Digging" shirts meant for women. If there was a controversy around the women's apparel, I must've missed it. Smith said Nike was taking a hit for making the shirts and he asked Hope for her thoughts on the "Gold Digging" controversy.
Wisely, Hope said that she had been out of the country and she didn't know enough about the Nike shirt controversy to give an opinion. Why did Smith and the "First Take" producers want to ask Hope about the shirt? I think the question was asked to get Hope to say something negative about Nike, which is not a wise move for a young athlete. Chastain has a lot of friends at ESPN; Bayless even made it clear to Hope that he liked Chastain and respected her game before asking about the tweets.
The "Gold Digging" question just seemed so odd for an athlete promoting an autobiography. It had nothing to do with her book or even Chastain. Perhaps it had everything to do with Chastain? An athlete of Hope's stature doesn't want to get on the bad side of Nike. It was a nice try though by Stephen A. Smith.
I like how Hope gets criticized about something she says and she feels no need to back track one bit. She never once tried to clean up what her opinion was. That's admirable. Politicians, actors and other athletes could learn something from that.
From ESPN's exaggerated unease toward her opinion, you would've thought she criticized Mother Teresa.
Note: I've been an Arsenal fan for nearly a decade. My cousin got me interested in the club at a young age.
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