The New York City Police Department is investigating a possible hate crime allegedly directed against soccer star Megan Rapinoe of the U.S. Women’s National Team.
At least half a dozen posters of Rapinoe hanging inside the Bryant Park subway station in New York were defaced, police told the New York Post on Tuesday.
Rapinoe and the rest of the U.S. women’s soccer team were in town Wednesday for a parade celebrating their FIFA World Cup victory.
Citing unnamed police sources, the Post reported the “hateful messages included ‘shemale’ and ‘screw this ho.'”
NYPD Detective Sophia Mason told CBS News the posters were defaced with what she described as “various derogatory, anti-sexual orientation comments.” Rapinoe is a lesbian.
The alleged defacement is being investigated by the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force, according to ESPN, though the posters have since been scrubbed clean.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority also is investigating the situation.
“Hate has no place in the transit system and we work hard to make the subway a welcoming, safe environment for everyone,” MTA spokesman Shams Tarek told the Post.
“We referred this to NYPD which responded to investigate, our maintenance teams got the posters cleaned and we will have them replaced with new ones if necessary,” Tarek said.
While this latest incident is certainly not of Rapinoe’s doing, the soccer star always seems to be at the center of controversy.
She refused to put her hand on her heart or sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” during the World Cup.
When asked whether she would visit the White House if her team won the World Cup, she had a sharp response.
“I’m not going to the f—ing White House,” Rapinoe said. “No, I’m not going to the White House. We’re not going to be invited. I doubt it.”
“No f—ing way will we be invited to the White House,” she said. “[Trump] tries to avoid inviting a team that might decline.”
Rapinoe attacked Trump again during an interview Tuesday.
“Your message is excluding people. You’re excluding me, you’re excluding people that look like me, you’re excluding people of color, you’re excluding Americans that maybe support you,” she told CNN.
“We need to have a reckoning with the message that you have and what you’re saying about ‘Make America Great Again,’” Rapinoe added.
Finally, on Wednesday, Rapinoe screamed out a vulgarity during the victory parade, which was being broadcast on live TV.
“New York City, you’re the motherf—ing best!” she yelled out to the crowd before walking off the podium.
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