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USWNT’s Korbin Albert issues apology for anti-LGBTQ posts after Megan Rapinoe criticism

Phil Walter/Getty Images North America/TNS

NEW YORK — Rising USWNT star Korbin Albert has issued an apology for sharing anti-LGBTQ content on social media after she was fiercely criticized by soccer superstar Megan Rapinoe.

“I want to sincerely apologize for my actions on social media,” the 20-year-old midfielder wrote on her Instagram story Thursday. “Liking and sharing posts that are offensive, insensitive and hurtful was immature and disrespectful which was never my intent.”

Albert, who also plays for Paris Saint-Germain, was likely referring to a clip of a Christian worship sermon she shared on TikTok that described being gay and “feeling transgender” as wrong.

News of her online activity quickly spread on social media and her TikTok account was quickly inundated with comments by angry fans, some of whom called her “hateful” and an “absolute disappointment” whose actions were “shocking and ridiculous.”

Rapinoe, who retired from a groundbreaking career as a soccer player last year, also took an issue with the repost.

In a scathing statement shared on her Instagram story ahead of Albert’s apology, the two-time World Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist addressed the issue, saying “kids are literally killing themselves because of this hate.”

“For people who want to hide behind ‘my beliefs,’ I would just ask one question: Are you making any type of space safer, more inclusive … bringing the best out of anyone? Because if you aren’t, all you believe in is hate,” Rapinoe wrote.

The 38-year-old, who has always been a fierce advocate for LGBTQ rights, didn’t directly address anyone in her comment, but later confirmed to The Athletic she was responding to Albert’s posts.

“I’m really disappointed in myself and am deeply sorry for the hurt that I have caused to my teammates, other players, fans, friends and anyone who was offended,” Albert wrote in her apology.

“I truly believe that everyone should feel safe and respected everywhere and on all playing fields,” the up-and-coming star said. “I know my actions have not lived up to that and for that I sincerely apologize. It’s an honor and a privilege to get to play this sport on the world stage and I promise to do better.”

Rapinoe has not commented on the apology.