Parents, Teach Your Kids to Lose Like Kerri Walsh Jennings, Not Hope Solo

US Soccer goalie Hope Solo & US Beach Volleyball player Kerri Walsh Jennings both lost out on a 3rd gold medal, but their reactions are what count the most.

Team USA Soccer women’s team goalie Hope Solo is making headlines today, two weeks after she made them in Rio. The reason? Solo, who called Sweden’s team “cowards” after they knocked Team USA out of Olympic play, has been suspended for the comments by Team USA—for 6 whole months.

U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said Solo’s comments were “unacceptable and do not meet the standard of conduct we require from our National Team players.”

Hope Solo warms up before what would be an Olympic loss against Sweden

As an American, I found Solo’s comments in Rio to be embarrassing. Yes, losing hurts. Yes, being denied a third gold medal in a row for USA women’s soccer and for Solo herself hurt. But Solo’s poor sportsmanship hurt more.  Name-calling your opponents and not taking responsibility for your own errors is pretty classless. I am generally a fan of giving grace—after all, I’ve certainly NEVER been in such a stressful position as goalie on a high-profile soccer stage—but unfortunately, Solo’s comments are a repeat performance of poor sportsmanship in her case. She was also suspended for a month in 2015 for similar conduct reasons.