USWNT's Korbin Albert apologizes after Megan Rapinoe calls out anti-LGBTQ social media content

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 24: Megan Rapinoe #15 of the United States before a game between South Africa and USWNT at Soldier Field on September 24, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Miller/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
Megan Rapinoe's career ended in a painful way. (Photo by Michael Miller/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

Megan Rapinoe apparently wasn't a fan of a young USWNT player sharing anti-LGBTQ content or liking posts making fun of her career-ending Achilles injury. Especially when that player has claimed her jersey number.

The two-time World Cup winner released a scathing statement as an apparent response to the social media activity of Korbin Albert, a 20-year-old midfielder for Paris Saint-Germain who took the field for the USWNT wearing Rapinoe's No. 15 last month.

Albert, who played two seasons at Notre Dame before turning pro in France, received attention this week when fans noticed she had reposted an array of anti-LGBTQ content on her TikTok account. One fan also noticed Albert had liked a post joking that God had caused Rapinoe to hurt her ankle in her farewell game last year.

Rapinoe did not hold back on her Instagram Story. She didn't mention Albert by name, but questioned if she had made any space safer or more inclusive:

“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, more whole, any semblance of better, bringing the best out of anyone,” she wrote.

“Because if you aren’t, all you believe in is hate. And kids are literally killing themselves because of this hate. Wake TF up!

“Yours truly, #15.

“For all my trans homies enduring this horrific treatment day in and day out, I see you and hear you and I am WITH YOU.”

Longtime USWNT captain Becky Sauerbrunn endorsed the message on her own story, writing, “Well said, @mrapinoe.”

Albert released a statement on her Instagram story hours after Rapinoe's post, which was published shortly before PSG's 3-0 win over BK Häcken. Albert apologized for liking and sharing the "offensive, insensitive and hurtful" posts and pledged to do better:

I want to sincerely apologize for my actions on social media. Liking and sharing posts that are offensive, insensitive and hurtful was immature and disrespectful which was never my intent.

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.

I truly believe that everyone should feel safe and respected everywhere and on all playing fields. I know my actions have not lived up to that and for that l 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.

SAN DIEGO, CA - MARCH 10: Korbin Albert #15 of the United States in action during the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup Final game between Brazil and USWNT at Snapdragon Stadium on March 10, 2024 in San Diego, California. (Photo by John Todd/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
Korbin Albert was a bright spot for the USWNT during its Gold Cup run. (Photo by John Todd/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

Rapinoe's farewell game was a brutal ending to an accomplished and impactful career. The midfielder left the field in tears after going down with a non-contact injury and had to begin her retirement by going under the knife.

Albert was one of the young players in line to replace Rapinoe in the USWNT's next generation, most recently helping power the squad to a Gold Cup title. There's little doubt she has a bright future, but she's now facing some uncomfortable questions very early into her professional career.