Megan Rapinoe makes first public appearance since calling out US women’s soccer player Korbin Albert over ‘anti-LGBT’ TikTok posts as she takes courtside seat for LeBron James NBA masterclass in Brooklyn


Megan Rapinoe took a courtside seat for a LeBron James masterclass in Brooklyn on Sunday night, her first public appearance since calling out a USA women’s soccer player of an anti-LGBT TikTok post.

Rapinoe had one of the best seats in the house as James scored 40 points to propel the Lakers to a 116-104 win over the Brooklyn Nets.

The 38-year-old was shown on the jumbotron at a pause in the game alongside Tommy Alter.

It marks Rapinoe’s first public appearance since she called out USWNT player Korbin Albert for sharing a re-post on TikTok of a Christian worship space discussing how being gay and ‘feeling transgender‘ is wrong.

Rapinoe posted a critical message on her Instagram story in response that did not directly name Albert but she later confirmed to The Athletic that she was the intended recipient.

Megan Rapinoe had a courtside seat for Lakers vs Nets in Brooklyn on Sunday evening

Megan Rapinoe had a courtside seat for Lakers vs Nets in Brooklyn on Sunday evening 

The 38-year-old Rapinoe had a seat next to Tommy Alter to watch the NBA game

The 38-year-old Rapinoe had a seat next to Tommy Alter to watch the NBA game 

She and Sue Bird posed for a picture with Arij Mikati after the game in Brooklyn on Sunday

She and Sue Bird posed for a picture with Arij Mikati after the game in Brooklyn on Sunday

Rapinoe wrote: ‘To the people who want to hide behind “my beliefs” I would just ask one question, are you making any time of space safer, more inclusive, more whole, any semblance of better, bringing the best out of anyone? … 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.’ 

Senior players within the USWNT shared Rapinoe’s post. USWNT captain Becky Sauerbrunn shared it with the caption ‘well said’ while other re-posts came from Lynn Williams, Kristie Mewis and now-retired midfielder Sam Mewis. 

The 20-year-old Albert, seen as a rising star within the women’s national team,  has posted some similar content on her profile before – including a now-deleted post on her TikTok account from Fourth of July weekend showing her family and saying ‘their pronouns are U.S.A.’

She also previously ‘liked’ a post on Instagram that was revealed via a screencap of a meme that read ‘God taking time off performing miracles to make sure Megan Rapinoe sprains her ankle in her final ever game’. 

Rapinoe tore her Achilles tendon in the 2023 NWSL Championship game in just the third minute and watched as her team, OL Reign, lost to Gotham FC on penalty kicks.

Albert currently wears the No. 15 jersey – the one Rapinoe wore with her time in the USWNT.

Rapinoe, however, appeared to be criticized on Friday by former USA international Alexi Lalas, who is now a FOX Sports analyst.

It's the first time Rapinoe has been seen since she called out USA player Korbin Albert

Albert, 20, re-shared TikTok posts of a Christian preacher saying being transgender is wrong

It’s the first time Rapinoe has been seen since she called out USA player Korbin Albert

Rapinoe criticized Albert through a statement on her own Instagram account this week

Rapinoe criticized Albert through a statement on her own Instagram account this week

Rapinoe didn't specifically name Albert, but challenged her to stop 'hiding behind "my beliefs"'

Rapinoe didn’t specifically name Albert, but challenged her to stop ‘hiding behind “my beliefs”‘

Lalas retweeted a post on X from Outkick reminding his followers that Rapinoe had previously been dismissive of Christianity and and then wrote back to a fan about Albert: ‘She apologized and she’s a talented young U.S. player with a bright future. 

But if there is some purity test for the #USWNT, I’d like to see it. Because, I’d like to add some questions.’

He then shared a highlight reel from Albert’s career, saying: ‘20-year-old Korbin Albert playing for PSG, part of a new young generation of #USWNT players. The future is bright.’

Lalas was then asked if Albert’s views risk creating conflict in US teams moving forward.

‘If we needed all players to like, respect, and/or agree with everyone on their team, we’d never play a game. Players are ruthless…at least the good ones,’ he said.

‘Maybe she isn’t part of best collection of players. But that best collection is based on results. 

‘You don’t have to like your teammates, you just have to believe they can do the job. Great players are ruthless. They compartmentalize, forgive, and/or forget in return for winning.’

Rapinoe, a two-time World Cup winner with the US in her playing career, tore her Achilles in her final game as a player, at OL Reign. She said afterwards that her injury was proof that God doesn’t exist.

Last year, when the US crashed out of the World Cup at the last-16 stage on penalties to Sweden – Rapinoe laughed after missing her own spot kick – Lalas said he hoped the USWNT became more likeable in the new era without Rapinoe.

Alexi Lalas appeared critical of Rapinoe on social media, albeit without naming her directly

Alexi Lalas appeared critical of Rapinoe on social media, albeit without naming her directly

When Rapinoe got injured in her last ever game, she said it was proof that God doesn't exist

When Rapinoe got injured in her last ever game, she said it was proof that God doesn’t exist

‘Don’t kill the messenger. This #USWNT is polarizing,’ he said. ‘Politics, causes, stances, & behavior have made this team unlikeable to a portion of America. 

‘This team has built its brand and has derived its power from being the best/winning. If that goes away they risk becoming irrelevant.’

Rapinoe, along with most of her teammates with the USA, would not sing the national anthem before games. She also kneeled during the national anthem in her time as an international player.

In a post to her Instagram story on Thursday night, Albert wrote, ‘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.’



Source link