An Olympics branded the Social Media Games got off to a tart start Saturday with former University of Washington soccer star Hope Solo using her Twitter account to blast NBC broadcaster Brandi Chastain following the 3-0 U.S. win over Columbia.
Chastain, a former star on the U.S. women’s national team, mildly criticized defender Rachel Buehler during the broadcast.
“Rachel Buehler with the giveaway there. As a defender, your responsibilities are — defend,” Chastain said. “Win the ball and then keep possession … [that is] something that Rachel Buehler actually needs to improve on in this tournament.”
Solo, two-time Olympian goalkeeper from Richland, is rarely bashful with her thoughts, jumped on the commentary post-game with four successive tweets:
Its 2 bad we cant have commentators who better represents the team&knows more about the game @brandichastain! #fb
Lay off commentating about defending and gking until you get more educated @brandichastain the game has changed from a decade ago. #fb
Its important 2 our fans 2 enjoy the spirit of the olympics. Its not possible when sum1 on air is saying that a player is the worst defender!
I feel bad 4 our fans that have 2 push mute, especially bc @arlowhite is fantastic.@brandichastain should be helping 2 grow the sport #fb
Chastain has yet to respond. It appears Solo, as with many athletes, think former players on the air are supposed to be cheerleaders for the team. Given that many are, the mistake is understandable. But the theory is that commentators are there for the viewer, not the player, coach or team.
Solo, of all people, should know about public sports criticism, having been booted from the 2007 national team after criticizing her coach and a teammate.
But Solo is a crafty vet at the media game, and she also has a book in the works. There are few better, cheaper marketing platforms than the Twitterverse.