USWNT’s Albert apologizes after critical Rapinoe post

United States women’s national team midfielder Korbin Albert apologized on Thursday for previous social media activity that appeared to support anti-LGBTQIA+ content, and for purportedly liking an Instagram post that made light of Megan Rapinoe’s torn Achilles in her final professional game.

Albert, 20, is a rising star for the U.S. and Paris Saint-Germain who recently started all three knockout games for the U.S. in a Concacaf W Gold Cup triumph while wearing No. 15 — the number Rapinoe donned for the past decade-plus before retiring in late 2023.

“I want to sincerely apologize for my actions on social media,” Albert wrote in a post shared on her Instagram story late Thursday. “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.”

Albert’s social media activity in question surfaced early this week, including screengrabs of her liking a post that appeared to celebrate Rapinoe’s injury in the 2023 NWSL championship in November. Rapinoe tore her Achilles moments into the game on Nov. 11, ending her career watching from the sideline as her Seattle Reign FC (then OL Reign) team lost to Gotham FC, 2-1.

Albert also shared a video from a Christian sermon with someone expressing shame about being gay and “feeling transgender.”

Rapinoe posted a message to her Instagram story on Thursday prior to Albert’s apology: “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?

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

Rapinoe signed the note: “Yours, Truly, #15” — with the number underscored. The two-time World Cup winner with the U.S. strongly advocated for LGBTQIA+ rights throughout her career.

Albert posted her apology a few hours after Rapinoe’s message. Albert continued: “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 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.”

U.S. Soccer did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Albert’s post or if her status for the SheBelieves Cup roster had changed. The U.S. women’s national team is set to convene for the tournament next week in Atlanta.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this story.