Korbin Albert Says Sorry for Mocking Rapinoe, LGBTQ+ Community

USWNT's Albert Addresses Social Media Controversy, Issues Apology

by Nouman Rasool
Korbin Albert Says Sorry for Mocking Rapinoe, LGBTQ+ Community
© Franco Arland/Getty Images

Korbin Albert, a midfielder for the U.S. Women's National Team, has publicly apologized following a backlash over her engagement with content on social media deemed mocking and insensitive towards Megan Rapinoe and the broader LGBTQ+ community.

The controversy erupted when fans noticed the 20-year-old athlete liking and sharing several posts on platforms like TikTok and Instagram, which included derogatory messages aimed at the LGBTQ+ community and ridiculed Rapinoe's injury during the final game of her illustrious career.

Megan Rapinoe, aged 38 and a stalwart advocate for LGBTQ+ rights within and beyond the sports world, responded to the incidents with a powerful message on Instagram. She challenged the justification of such actions under the guise of personal beliefs, questioning whether these actions contributed to creating a safer, more inclusive environment.

Rapinoe's post emphasized the dire consequences of hate-driven behavior, including the impact on young lives facing severe distress and isolation because of their identity.

Albert Apologizes, Team Reacts

In her statement, Rapinoe underscored her unwavering support for the trans community, which faces relentless discrimination and hostility.

"For all my trans homie enduring this horrific treatment day in and day out, I see you and hear you, and I am WITH YOU," she affirmed, marking a solid stance against bigotry and exclusion. Following Rapinoe's critique, Albert took to Instagram to express her regret over her actions, stating her apology was for the offense caused to her teammates, the broader player community, fans, friends, and anyone hurt by her earlier social media behavior.

Albert stressed the importance of creating a respectful and safe environment for all individuals, acknowledging her failure to uphold these values through her actions. The episode drew reactions from several of Albert's teammates and fellow players in the soccer community, who echoed Rapinoe's sentiments on their social media platforms, reinforcing the call for inclusivity and respect in sports.

Among them were soccer stars Sam and Kristi Mewis, Lynn Williams, Alana Cook, and Angel City FC player Merritt Mathias, who hailed Rapinoe as "the real 15," a reference to the jersey number both Rapinoe and Albert have worn for the USWNT.

The incident underscores ongoing challenges and dialogues around inclusivity and respect within sports and society at large. As the USWNT prepares for the upcoming SheBelieves Cup, the episode serves as a reminder of the influence athletes wield and the responsibilities that come with it in fostering an environment of respect, empathy, and unity.