USWNT’s Korbin Albert apologizes for social media controversy after Megan Rapinoe’s criticism

Recently retired USWNT midfielder Megan Rapinoe issued a strong response Wednesday to anti-LGBTQ content reposted on TikTok by new USWNT midfielder Corbin Albert last week.

Rapinoe wrote in part in an Instagram Story on her personal account, “Wake up TF, addressing those who want to hide behind 'my beliefs'” and adding that “everything you believe in is hate. “

when asked for comment athletic, Rapinoe said the post was in response to Albert's social media activity, but stressed that her focus was on the gay lives at stake, whether they are at risk through online anti-trans commentary or targeted legislation. She also wanted to share her specific concerns about how online discussions around trans people have real-world — and often dangerous — consequences.

“To all my fellow trans lesbians who endure this horrible treatment day after day, I see you and I hear you and I am with you,” she signed off her note on Instagram.

Albert previously reposted on his TikTok account a sermon he gave in a Christian place of worship that talked about how being gay and “feeling transgender” is wrong. Those posts and others resurfaced on social media earlier this week.

After their Champions League match on Thursday, Albert posted an apology on his Instagram account.

“I want to sincerely apologize for my actions on social media,” she wrote in part. “Liking and sharing a post that was derogatory, insensitive and hurtful was immature and disrespectful, which was never my intention.”

Representatives for the US Soccer Federation, PSG and Albert did not respond to requests for comment.

Who is Corbyn Albert and what did he post?

Albert, 20, is a midfielder with French Ligue 1 Féminine club Paris Saint-Germain and was recently added to the USWNT squad starting in friendly matches in late 2023. She was a regular starter during the US's recent victorious run. She was included in the USWNT roster for the inaugural W Gold Cup and the SheBelieves Cup, a series of two friendly matches beginning on April 6.

The video publicly shared by Albert includes a sermon delivered in a Christian place of worship explaining how being gay and “feeling transgender” is wrong. This activity attracted widespread attention from female football fans, but it was not out of the ordinary on Albert's profile.

One of the posts Albert made on his TikTok profile was from the Fourth of July weekend of 2023, which featured his family taking turns saying “Their pronouns are USA,” Participating in video with Corbyn, The post was no longer visible on her profile as of Thursday afternoon.

Fans previously revealed a like of Corbyn on Instagram via a screencap, with a post from a meme account that read, “God is taking time to work a miracle to make sure Megan Rapinoe sprains her ankle in her final game.” The screencap shows Albert's Instagram handle, although as of March 28, the original post appears to have been completely removed. It is unclear when it was posted on Instagram.

Both Albert and Rapinoe wear jersey number 15 for the USWNT. (Photo by Harry How, Getty Images)

Albert currently wears the number 15 jersey for the United States, which was made available when Rapinoe retired from playing professionally last fall. USWNT players select their jersey numbers based on seniority.

Albert started for PSG in their Champions League match against BK Hacken on Thursday and scored his team's second goal in the 70th minute. PSG advanced to the next round of the Champions League with the win, where they will face Lyon and USWNT teammate Lindsay Horan in the semi-finals.

He posted an apology after the match.

“I am truly disappointed in myself and deeply sorry for the hurt I have caused my teammates, other players, fans, friends, and anyone who was offended,” he wrote. “I truly believe that everyone should feel safe and respected everywhere and on all playgrounds. I know that my actions did not live up to him and for that I sincerely apologize. It is an honor and a privilege to play this game on the world stage and I promise to perform better.”

How did Megan Rapinoe react?

On Thursday, Rapinoe posted her response to Albert's repost via an Instagram Story, writing: “To those who want to hide behind 'my beliefs' I would just ask one question, would you like someone from space? “Also making the time safer, more inclusive?” More perfect, some glimpse of better, bringing out the best in someone? …Because if you are not everything you believe in then that is hate. And children are actually killing themselves because of this hatred. TF wake up! “Yours truly, #15.”

Rapinoe's longtime USWNT teammate Becky Sauerbrunn re-shared the post on Thursday, captioning it, “Very well said.” Other former teammates also shared the post, including Lynn Williams, Sam Mewis and Christy Mewis.

Rapinoe retired from the USWNT with her final match in September 2023. In her final match as a professional, the 2023 NWSL Championships, Rapinoe was forced to exit early in the first half after tearing her Achilles.

Rapinoe retired from professional soccer after last season. (Photo by Meg Oliphant, Getty Images)

Rapinoe has an extensive history of supporting the trans community opposition to federal law Titled the “Protecting Girls and Women in Sports Act” proposed in 2023, that would ban transgender and intersex women and girls from women's sports.

“A lot of this trans inclusion argument is put through the extremely narrow lens of specific sports,” Rapinoe told Time magazine in 2022, “As if this is not the way we need to frame this question. We are talking about children. We are talking about people's lives. We are talking about the entire state government coming down on one child in some states, three children in some states. They're committing suicide because they're being told they're disgusting and different, bad and sinful and that they can't play games with the friends they grew up with. Not to mention trying to take away health care. I think it's monstrous.”

Has the USWNT addressed LGBTQ+ rights before?

The USWNT has previously supported trans rights, particularly on an individual basis. longtime captain becky sauerbrunn -And as a collective. In the final game of the 2022 SheBelieves Cup, held in Texas, all players wore wristbands with tape bearing the words “Protect Trans Kids”. The action came on the same day Texas Governor Greg Abbott told state employees to report parents of trans children to Texas authorities, and called “alternative procedures for gender transition” “child abuse.” Was referred to as.

Sauerbrunn also wrote An opinion article for a Missouri newspaper In support of allowing trans girls and women to play sports, while opposing the proposed “Save Women's Sports Act”. She is an ambassador for Athlete Ally, a non-profit LGBTQ+ advocacy group.

Since 2017, both the USMNT and USWNT have shown their support for the LGBTQ+ community by sporting rainbow numbers and captain's armbands for matches played during Pride Month in June in the United States.

The USWNT has scheduled two matches against South Korea this Pride Month, with Emma Hayes' first games taking place in Denver and St. Paul on June 1 and 4, respectively.

Are there any examples of this situation?

This is reminiscent of the case of Jaylen Daniels (née Hinkle), who stopped appearing with the USWNT after expressing anti-LGBTQ+ beliefs, which she said were rooted in her religion.

However, there are important differences between the two situations. Hinkle was named to the USWNT roster two years later in 2017. He posted: “This world is falling ever further away from God… The only way believers can continue to pray is to pray” after the US Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have the legal right to marry.

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Daniels then refused to attend those matches because they took place during Pride Month, with the team set to wear rainbow numbers for the first time for those games.

Daniels reveals her decision to decline the 2017 USWNT call up in an interview 700 clubSaying “I felt so guilty in my soul that it was not my job to wear this jersey.”

Conversely, Albert has not rejected a call-up to the USWNT and has not publicly expressed any desire to do so.

Daniels continued to receive call-ups to the senior USWNT after 2017, including A training camp for 2018 Tournament of Nations under former head coach Jill Ellis, where he was omitted from the tournament roster after being named.

Daniels also decided to sit out a Pride match for his club team North Carolina Courage in 2022 after the Courage decided to re-sign him despite considerable fan opposition.

What will happen next?

It is unclear whether US Soccer will address Albert's social media activity, but he has been named to the SheBelieves Cup roster. The first match will be played in Atlanta on 6 April.

on Tuesday Georgia Senate passes House Bill 1104Originally intended to provide mental health resources for young student-athletes, but now includes language that bars transgender girls from competing on girls' public school teams, and also bans them from locker rooms Which matches their gender identity.

US Soccer on April 8 in Fayette County, Ga. He will also inaugurate the new National Training Center and Headquarters of the Federation.

(Photo: Brad Smith/Getty Images for USSF)

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