Recently retired USWNT midfielder Megan Rapinoe responded strongly to anti-LGBTQ content reposted on TikTok by new USWNT midfielder Korbin Albert. Rapinoe called out the hate behind such beliefs, emphasizing the danger and harm that can result from such rhetoric. She expressed support for the queer community and highlighted the real-world consequences of online discussions around transgender individuals.

Albert, a midfielder for Paris Saint-Germain and the USWNT, reposted a sermon on TikTok that criticized being gay and transgender. The posts garnered attention from fans, prompting Albert to issue an apology on Instagram. The US Soccer Federation, PSG, and Albert’s representatives have not commented on the situation. Both Albert and Rapinoe have worn the No. 15 jersey for the USWNT, with Albert currently holding the number following Rapinoe’s retirement.

Rapinoe’s response to Albert’s posts underscored the importance of creating safe and inclusive spaces, particularly for marginalized communities. She has been a vocal advocate for LGBTQ rights and has spoken out against legislation targeting transgender individuals. The USWNT has also shown support for LGBTQ rights, with players wearing wristbands advocating for the protection of trans kids during a game. The team has a history of supporting LGBTQ rights, including wearing rainbow numbers and captain’s armbands during Pride Month matches.

The situation involving Albert and Rapinoe is reminiscent of the case of Jaelene Daniels, who expressed anti-LGBTQ beliefs and declined to appear with the USWNT during Pride Month. However, there are distinctions between the two situations, as Albert has not declined any call-ups to the national team. It remains to be seen how U.S. Soccer will address Albert’s social media activity, but she is currently named to the SheBelieves Cup roster.

The USWNT has games scheduled during Pride Month against South Korea, with new head coach Emma Hayes leading the team. U.S. Soccer will also commence the construction of a new national training center and headquarters in Georgia. The situation involving Albert’s reposts on TikTok raises questions about the intersection of sports and social issues, particularly regarding LGBTQ rights and representation within the USWNT. It highlights the importance of creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all athletes, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

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