Just before decorated American soccer player Hope Solo walked out to give an award, the former head of FIFA allegedly grabbed her bottom.
Solo said the incident occurred just as she was about to give her teammate, Abby Wambach, a player of the year trophy at a FIFA awards ceremony in January 2013. She was presenting with the former head of the soccer organization, Sepp Blatter, who she said grabbed her.Just before decorated American soccer player Hope Solo walked out to give an award, the former head of FIFA allegedly grabbed her bottom.
In an interview published Friday in the Portuguese news outlet Expresso, Solo said, "I had Sepp Blatter grab my ass." She said it occurred just before she presented the women's player of the year award at the Ballon D'or in Switzerland.
She gave more details in the Guardian Friday about how Blatter grabbed her just before the two walked on stage. She had to pull herself together quickly to give the award to Wambach. She said in the Guardian, "I had to quickly pull myself together to present my teammate with the biggest award of her career and celebrate with her in that moment, so I completely shifted my focus to Abby."
Blatter has responded to the allegation as "ridiculous."
Solo, who posted about sexual harassment with a #MeToo post on Instagram last month, told Expresso that that she was nervous about the presentation and she never got to call out the disgraced FIFA president. "After that I didn't see him and that was kind of bad. I didn't get to tell him directly 'Don't ever touch me!' That's the way I've always handled things. Directly," she said.
For the past few days, I have been thinking about all the uncomfortable situations myself and/or my teammates have experienced throughout the years with trainers, doctors, coaches, executives and even teammates. From inappropriate comments, unwanted advances and grabs of the ass to coaches and GMs and even press officers speaking about players "tits” and physical appearance, sexual harassment is rampant in the sports world. I always felt I’d “handled it” and stood up for myself in those situations, but there were never any consequences for the perpetrators. That needs to change. Silence will not change the world! #MeToo
A post shared by Hope Solo (@hopesolo) on Oct 16, 2017 at 3:42pm PDT
Solo's story, along with other athletes who have spoken out about abuse, including U.S. Olympic gymnasts Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney, show that sexual harassment is not limited to Hollywood and politics.