The New York Police Department said its hate crimes task force had launched an investigation after posters of soccer star Megan Rapinoe were vandalized with misogynistic comments and homophobic slurs at a Manhattan subway station.
According to USA Today, the defaced posters, which were located around the Bryant Park subway stop, were reported to authorities on Monday morning — two days before the U.S. women’s national soccer team celebrated its World Cup victory at a ticker-tape parade in the city.
Rapinoe, the team’s co-captain, was awarded the tournament’s Golden Boot and Golden Ball trophies Sunday for being the Women’s World Cup’s top scorer and best player, respectively. Tens of thousands of people clogged the streets of Manhattan to celebrate the athlete and her teammates on Wednesday.
“Hate has no place in the transit system and we work hard to make the subway a welcoming, safe environment for everyone,” a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority told the New York Post of the vandalism. “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.”
Rapinoe, who is gay, is a vocal advocate for LGBTQ rights. She’s made national headlines for her ongoing feud with President Donald Trump, whom she criticized during a Tuesday interview for pushing an exclusionary agenda.
“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 said on CNN, addressing Trump.
“You need to do better for everyone,” she added.
Rapinoe echoed this message during the parade, telling the crowd gathered that we all “have to be better.”
“We have to love more. Hate less. We got to listen more and talk less. We got to know that this is everybody’s responsibility. Every single person here. Every single person’s who’s not here. Every single person who doesn’t want to be here. Every single person who agrees and doesn’t agree. It’s our responsibility to make this world a better place,” Rapinoe said.