US footballers ‘extremely sad’ about teammate’s anti-LGBTQ+ social media posts

CARSON, CA - FEBRUARY 18: Korbin Albert of the United States dribbles during USWNT Training at Dignity Health Sports Park on February 18, 2024 in Carson, California. (Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photos/USSF/Getty Images for USSF)

Two US women’s national team (USWNT) footballers have denounced teammate Korbin Albert for sharing “offensive” and “insensitive” anti-LGBTQ+ social media posts.

Midfielder Albert was criticised last month for sharing posts – which have since been deleted – of a Christian worship group’s discussion on how being gay and “feeling transgender” is wrong.

Albert had previously shared videos of her family saying “[our] pronouns are USA”, during their Independence Day celebrations.

On Wednesday (3 April), USWNT striker Alex Morgan and captain Lindsey Horan appeared at a press conference ahead of the team’s match against Japan on Saturday (6 April).

“We’ve worked extremely hard to uphold the integrity of this national team and are extremely sad this standard was not upheld,” said Horan, who plays her club football for Lyon in France, according to The Washington Post.

“Our fans feel this is a team they can rally behind, so it’s important they feel – and continue to feel – undeniably heard and seen.”

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San Diego Wave star Morgan added: “We stand by maintaining a safe and respectful space, especially as allies and members of the LGBTQ+ community. This platform has given us an opportunity to highlight causes that matter to us, something we never take for granted.

“And we’ll keep using this platform to give attention to causes that are important to us.

“It is also important to note that we’ve had internal discussions around the situation and that will stay within the team. But one thing to note is that we never shied away from hard conversations.”

Korbin Albert has been criticised for her anti-LGBTQ+ social media posts. (Aurelien Meunier – PSG/PSG via Getty Images)

At the end of March, Albert issued an apology, saying she was disappointed in herself and “deeply sorry for the hurt that I have caused my teammates, other players, fans, friends and anyone who was offended”.

The Paris Saint-Germain star went on to say: “I truly believe 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 apologise,” the Paris Saint-Germain star said.

“It’s an honour and a privilege to get to play this sport and on the world stage, and I promise to do better.”

Prior to Morgan and Horan addressing the controversy, former USWNT player and two-time World Cup winner Megan Rapinoe – who announced her retirement from the game last year – appeared to reference the controversy.

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

“If you aren’t, all you believe in is hate, and kids are literally killing themselves because of this hate. Wake TF up.”