Less than 48 hours after winning the Women’s World Cup in France and a day before her team was feted with a star-studded ticker tape parade, posters of Megan Rapinoe were vandalized in one of New York City’s busiest subway stations.
The New York City Police Department are investigating the vandalism as a hate crime.
A total of eight posters featuring the World Cup Golden Boot winner were tagged with various sexist and homophobic comments and slurs. The derogatory messages, tagged on a Nike ad featuring Rapinoe, included “screw this ho,” and “shemale.”
The posters were displayed throughout the B-train mezzanine of the 42nd Street subway station.
Police say the incident took place at around 11:40 p.m. Monday night. The department’s Hate Crimes Task Force was notified of the incident and are now investigating alongside the Metropolitan Transit Authority. The graffiti has since been cleaned up.
"Hate has no place in the transit system,” MTA deputy communications director Shams Tarek told the New York Post on Monday. “We work hard to make the subway a welcoming, safe environment for everyone."
Like the rest of the country, hate crimes in New York City have been on the rise in recent years. In June, the NYPD reported that hate crimes were up 64% in 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.
On Wednesday, above ground, the U.S. Women’s National Team got a parade through New York’s Canyon of Heroes and were presented with the Key to the City.
“This team has shown an undeniable truth, an inalienable right – that the equality of women must be guaranteed in this nation,” New York City mayor and 2020 Presidential candidate Bill de Blasio said at the parade. “They have inspired millions and millions, and they have inspired particularly young women to believe in themselves, to be brave, to be bold, to be fierce.”
Rapinoe has been an outspoken advocate on minority, gender equality and LGBTQ issues, as well as an blistering critic of President Donald Trump. She famously told a reporter that she would not be going to the White House if she was invited, drawing the ire of the tweeter-in-chief.
On Tuesday, Rapinoe once again addressed the president directly on CNN, telling him that his now famous “Make America Great Again” slogan is exclusive and divisive.
“You have an incredible responsibility as the chief of this country to take care of every single person and you need to do better,” Rapinoe said directly to camera.
Cover: Megan Rapinoe celebrates U.S. Women's National Soccer Team Victory during a ticker tape parade in the Canyon of Heroes on July 10, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage)