Monday, October 15, 2007

No way out

Loaded question: Are you going to publically apologize for insulting Briana Scurry?

A question with a false, disputed, or question-begging presupposition.

The question "Have you stopped beating your wife?" presupposes that you have beaten your wife prior to its asking, as well as that you have a wife. If you are unmarried, or have never beaten your wife, then the question is loaded.

A "loaded question", like a loaded gun, is a dangerous thing. A loaded question is a question with a false or questionable presupposition, and it is "loaded" with that presumption.

Since this example is a yes/no question, there are only the following two direct answers:

1. "Yes, I have stopped beating my wife", which entails "I was beating my wife."
2. "No, I haven't stopped beating my wife", which entails "I am still beating my wife."
3. "Yes, I'm going to publically apologize", which entails "I did insult Briana, and never apologized."
4. "No, I'm not going to publically apologize", which entails never playing for the team again.

Thus, either direct answer entails a presupposition of the question. So, a loaded question is one which you cannot answer directly without implying a falsehood or a statement that you deny. For this reason, the proper response to such a question is not to answer it directly, but to either refuse to answer or to reject the question.
Since a question is not an argument, simply asking a loaded question is not a fallacious argument. Rather, loaded questions are typically used to trick someone into implying something they did not intend.


Anonymous said...

First, Andrea, thanks for keeping Hope alive.

Let's also try to get the focus back on Greg Ryan and his short-comings.

From The Soccer Daily

"Instead of issuing statements on behalf of an athlete stuck in a situation that she apparently has to make right or risk her career, the US Soccer Federation leadership should be speaking directly, addressing the situation that led to the best women's team - and that's inclusive for the coaching staff and players - in the world failing at the highest level."

Anonymous said...

Keep Hope Alive indeed! She needs support where others have failed her.

A.C., absolutely right about the loaded question, she is in a no-win situation, damned if she does, damned if she doesn't.

An email follows to Ms. Lily, a WTN "Leader". Her blog is on her web site.

Copy to USSF

Good Afternoon Kristine,

Thank you for your first blog since prior to the semi-final game vs. Brazil.

One thing is sorely missing. The fans of the WNT deserve an explanation from it's "team leaders" for the horrible treatment of Hope Solo, one of your "family". Should she have spoken out? As a girls coach and player of various sports, I say of course not! Two wrongs do NOT make a right. But does that make it right to have three wrongs?

Whatever happened to "do onto others". When you speak out of turn, would you like to be treated this way, ostracized and humiliated, by your "family"? To top it all off, she's grieving the death of her Father, but that just makes you all look even worse then you otherwise would have, to the public and your fans.

Hope Solo has now apologized a number of times for her mistake, both publicly and privately, a mistake where she was only speaking the obvious and was being said by everyone else for her. So why, oh why, did she say anything at all? She certainly didn't need to.

It was the heat of the moment, that's why. She was devastated by your Coach's decision AND the result of the game. Her World Cup dream was smashed, as it was for all of you. Why? Mostly because your Coach let you down. Big time. Try as she must have to just keep walking, she just couldn't. Can you not see that? Have you NEVER said something you wish you hadn't?

What else is at work here that WNT fans are just not aware of? When is the "Team" and your Coach going to acknowledge that maybe, just maybe, Coach and "Team Leaders" over-reacted just a little with your punishment due to the same emotion Hope was feeling when she spoke? Ignoring the first two wrongs, you have brought a great deal of shame to your team with your actions and this is just not acceptable. Nobody seems able or willing to acknowledge this. The question is WHY?

I wish you all nothing but the best in the future but the subject of how an organization that holds themselves out as a World Class soccer team, role models for all the young aspiring female soccer stars out there, can treat "one of your own" as you have needs to be addressed.

Sooner rather then later, along with the future of Coach Greg Ryan, who ultimately as the Coach is responsible for ALL of this.

Be the leader you are supposed to be and make this right with your numerous fans, who the Team has alienated at best, but are in serious danger of losing at worst.


A U18 Girls Coach

charlton heston said...

I would just turn it around onto the do-nothing USSF head:

"Mr. Gulati when will you stop sexually harassing Hope Solo?"

I mean, she's obviously in an unhealthy, discriminated work environment according to OSHA regulations as well as any state based human rights act.

Since Sunil Gulati continues to sit on his hand being an accomplice at least my question is more apropos.

Anonymous said...

"It takes good coaches and financial support to help these teams compete in the world of soccer." quote from Lilly' web site. She BOLDS the words good coaches and financial support...if we were to give her the benefit of the doubt that she has not gone over to the dark side, can we interpret these words to be coded message to the Federation?

If not, then it is a sad day when players are have so few options that they must tow the line or be assigned to the dust bin of history.

This is just one of the many outrageous overall comments she makes.

sorry sorry excuse for leadership,...

Anonymous said...

Your writing is so very very appreciated. It is crazy making to think Ryan could pull this off with no consequence to himself.

And if the women expect to be treated as equals...they should gag him. All this talk of "healing" "reconciliation"...can you imagine any men's coach getting away with that?

A young woman answering the phone at us soccer in Carson, used the word "healing" about 5 times in the brief conversation I had with her today. Get off it....

Ryan, go heal someplace else.

Thanks again to you Andrea

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more Anon3.

Her various statements are enlightening.

I've taken a few minutes to browse through her various Journals.

These writings, to me, confirm what we have witnesed over the past couple weeks. Lilly is just not a very good team leader & captain.

Not everyone is Captain material and seniority should not dictate this.

The captain arm band transfer to Bri at the end of the Norway game? What was that other then another pathetic public shot at Hope Solo?

Lilly as leader really does go a long way to explain a lot of this.

Regardless, we MUST keep the focus of responsibility for all this where it belongs, on Coach Ryan. He refuses to accept resposibility for ANY of this.

That fact, second to what Hope Solo is enduring through this, is the sadest part of it all.

Coach Ryan MUST be held accountable!

Are you listening Mr. Sunil Galati?


Anonymous said...

Oh my, this is the caption under one of the pictures on Lilly's web site:

"Me, Dave, Frank, and Elizabeth after my 3rd place win."

After "MY" 3rd place win!!!

Kinda says it all, don't ya think??

Toddzilla said...

I have a nutty idea.

1. Coach makes stupid decision.
2. Player insults coach and teammate.
3. Coach & Team 'suspend' player.
4. Player apologizes for insulting coach and teammate.
5. World moves on.

Since we've delved into all of the serious and deep gender/social implications of this tragic event, maybe it's time to back up and see it as just another day in the life of sports. This is the part where watching the media outlets comment on each other's coverage gets so amusing. The events that transpired don't even matter anymore. It's the nebulous aspect of "what's everyone saying about it?"

Maybe it's just what it is. Two bad decisions that compounded into a neat little story with drama and intrigue and made for lovely sound bite and article material. You seem to be alarmed that the other team members aren't making huge gestures one way or the other to either shun or welcome her back. But here's a scoop, everybody - she'll be the keeper again much sooner than later, and that's the end of it.

So what did we learn? Well, if he has the chance to make such decisions again, Ryan won't make such a moronic change. And Solo will know better than to dog her teammate and coach publicly. (Yes, Andrea, she dogged her teammate. I know you'll never admit it, but 'anyone who knows anything about insults can see that.')

A.C. said...


Great example of loaded statement in your final line.

Anonymous said...

Some of us don't want to move on until Coach Ryan is held accountable for all this.


Anonymous said...


You can of course argue she was slamming her mate, as some have.

Some of us choose to believe Hope stated the obvious, that it isn't 2004 anymore, (last time I checked, it isn't) and that she felt she could have made those saves, which her wonderful Coach had publicly stated before the game, she could not. Apparently she's not as quick as Bri or something like that? lol (Go watch Hope vs. Bri on youtube).

Sadly, Hope didn't need to say anything, as everone else was saying it for her. Take note Hope for future reference. Don't say a word when everyone else is saying it for you!

Sadly, she took the heat off Ryan, which was the LAST thing I'm sure she wanted to do and where the heat needs to be kept.


Toddzilla said...

Andrea, I thought it was rather clever - though it wasn't loaded - no aspect of continuous action (which is why "when will you stop beating your wife?" is truly loaded). I was just being a smartass, which of course you knew.

Let me be clear, C. Ryan certainly needs to be dealt with. And by saying we "move on" I'm not suggesting that we ignore what happened. My point is simply that it's not the deep complicated issue that I believe A.C. is making is out to be. It's simple - mistakes were made - we deal with the mistakes and move on. Since we don't agree on the basic facts (did she or didn't she insult Scurry?) it doesn't do me any good to drag that part out.

Naturally we don't know yet what will happen to Ryan - which is a very worthy subject for speculation - so that's still in the air, but as for Solo's role, she's back in. Within the team structure, they're concerned about the next game, which is what a team should do - move on and deal with the present.

Anonymous said...


O.K., even though you haven't asked me to, I'll compromise on the did Hope or did Hope not insult Bri topic because at this moment, I can and because I'm on a sabbatical of sorts, I have the time! :)

I do believe Bri was collateral damage. I choose to believe Hope when she says she didn't mean for her to be. From what I can see, Hope has been a good teammate of many teams her entire career, no history of "bad seed" that I can see? It would be a terrible shame & VERY unfair if this succeeds in tainting her that way?

Try to keep in mind the emotional context of when these words were spoken. When I saw the interview, I cringed & yelled at the screen, NOOOO Hope, stop talking! Take the words back, something! EVERYBODY is already saying it for you! Your words will only help Ryan! :(

The complicated part that you allude to is just discussion, which A.C. tries to stimulate with this blog. Psychology is always a fun topic and as a coach of females with 2 teen daughters, I find it interesting as I continue to search for answers into the female psych. I look for anything to help me as a Coach & Dad. Watching these girls interact IS complicated stuff(!) and is why some members of the WTN has been accused of being a bunch of "mean girl" high school cliques. I was glad A.C brought it up.

I hope you are right with regards to Hope being back on the team, being the starter, and not being punished any further by her Coach, whoever that may be in the future, and "some" teammates. Hmmm, remains to be seem but I hope you're right?

So, contact USSF by email or telephone, if you already haven't, with a polite "hold Coach Ryan accountable" and "how can you treat a teammate that way" rant.

I trust they aren't just listening to keep up appearances but it is possible?


Toddzilla said...


I agree with your thoughts that Solo's comments only served to take away the focus from Ryan, and that's certainly an unfortunate byproduct of this deal. He made a goofy decision that couldn't possibly be justified. We all certainly agree on that.

I wouldn't worry so much about the USSF listening just to keep up appearances. Any public entity like them will do that, just like a corporation will 'listen' during a scandal. It's short-lived in most cases, so it doesn't really matter if they're really so sincere about it. I'm really not jaded, that's just how things seem to go.

The reality is that things will settle down and resume normalcy. The whole thing with Solo's comments will die down, team members will be asked about it less and less, and by the Olympics, she will have played in most of the games. People will look back at this and say, "wasn't that a weird deal?" but not much more will be made of it.

Ryan is going to hear about it more than anyone, and even though Sunil Gulati seemed to be happy that the team was getting attention (even while admitting it wasn't the best type), I would think the federation will have to make a change.

Anonymous said...


"Hope" you're right on all counts, specially the Lose the Dope, Keep the Hope parts.