Hope Solo files for sanctions against USWNT in equal-pay case, cites ‘humiliation’

Ryan Young
Yahoo Sports Contributor

Hope Solo is still trying to get a seat during mediation sessions between the U.S. Soccer Federation and the Untied States Women’s National Team, even after both sides have shot down the idea.

The former USWNT goalie filed a “strongly-worded” 10-page motion on Monday, calling for legal sanctions against her former teammates and their attorneys days after they rejected her request to join their mediation sessions with the USSF regarding their equal pay lawsuit filed earlier this year. Both the USWNT and the USSF said on Friday that, “with all due respect,” Solo’s help isn’t needed in the mediation sessions.

In the motion filed on Monday, Solo said that their brief rejecting her bid to join the mediation sessions needs to be removed from the official record. Otherwise, Solo maintains her reputation will take a major hit, according to The Athletic.

The “improper filing of the untruthful Opposition has already caused Solo to suffer undeserved irreparable harm, ridicule and humiliation in the mainstream and social media,” she wrote in the motion, via The Athletic.

“It’s unfortunate that in their continued quest to marginalize Hope Solo, the player who has lead the fight for equal pay at every stage, including being the first player to file a federal lawsuit for equal pay eight months before the other members of the team, the USWNT and their counsel elected to file an Opposition that not only inaccurately represents the nature of their case, and Hope's status in that matter, but also boldly violates the Federal Rules in order to partner with U.S. Soccer to keep Hope out of their Mediation,” Solo’s attorney, Rich Nichols, said in a statement to Yahoo Sports.

The USWNT first filed its gender discrimination lawsuit against the USSF in March. Both sides agreed to mediation in the equal pay lawsuit after the team’s 2-0 win against the Netherlands in the Women’s World Cup last month.

Solo has her own similar pending equal-pay lawsuit against the USSF, filed last August, which she argued in part that she believes she was dismissed from the USWNT due to her role in the fight for equal pay. Solo’s contract with U.S. Soccer was terminated shortly after a loss to Sweden in the 2016 Olympics, when she called the Swedish team “a bunch of cowards.”

In her motion, Solo asked the court to strike the USWNT motion, assess them her legal fees and rule their class council is “inadequate,” according to The Athletic. She claimed that the USWNT had no right to reject her bid to join their mediation sessions, because they “are a non-party to her case,” per the report.

USWNT outside lawyer Jeff Kessler, however, isn’t sure what rule they violated by rejecting her bid.

“I am not aware of any federal rule that has been violated by this filing (the USWNT motion),” Kessler wrote in an email to Solo’s legal team on Monday, via The Athletic. “Please identify the basis for your claim and we will then evaluate it.”

In a 10-page motion filed on Monday, Hope Solo called for legal action to be taken against her former teammates after they didn't let her join their equal-pay mediations with the U.S. Soccer Federation.. (Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

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