USWNT Stars Past And Present Condemn Rising Star Korbin Albert’s Noxious Internet Habits

PSG midfielder Korbin Albert spent her time before her biggest USWNT call-up to date wilding out on TikTok, endorsing a bunch of noxious transphobic and homophobic slop, sharing posts about demonic influences, and laughing at Megan Rapinoe having to leave her final game due to an injury. Albert is 20 years old, and she seems like one of the rising stars for the USWNT in a position of need. She just started all three knockout-round games for the USWNT at the Gold Cup and played all 120 minutes of the team’s absurdist win over Canada—while in Rapinoe’s recently vacated No. 15 jersey.

As she is so young and talented—at the same time fans were calling out her posts, she also scored a banger in the Champions League—Albert is a lock to feature in the first versions of Emma Hayes’s USWNT; which is to say, her regressive views are as disappointing as the swiftness and thoroughness with which her newish teammates called her out was heartening. Hours after Albert’s activities gained traction on social media, Rapinoe made a statement, writing, “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!” Becky Sauerbrunn shared it, and shortly afterwards, Albert offered an apology.

The timing of Albert’s demon-centric reporting spree was really something. She was called up to the USWNT one day earlier for the SheBelieves Cup, and is currently in training camp with her teammates. Albert has not been on the national team very long, as her first call-up came two weeks after Rapinoe tore her Achilles tendon in November. She has seven caps with the senior team, and essentially one campaign’s worth of time with PSG over two half-seasons. With Hayes’s managerial debut less than two months away, the SheBelieves Cup is everyone’s last chance to make their case for playing time with their incoming coach. Albert had to know she was on the cusp of a breakthrough, which makes her TikTok usage, in addition to being foul, remarkably boneheaded. It would be fucked up to delight in Rapinoe’s injury even if she hadn’t helped successfully fight for the equal pay from which Albert now benefits.

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While neither Rapinoe nor Sauerbrunn are on this current USWNT roster, a few active players have spoken up about Albert’s activities, with Lynn Williams and Sam Mewis making good points about the relative importance of human rights and soccer, while also referring to Jaelene Daniels’s choice to derail her own USWNT career in the mid-2010s by choosing bigotry over a call-up. Ahead of a Wednesday media session with Catarina Macario, USWNT captain Lindsey Horan and Alex Morgan made an impromptu statement to the media on Albert:

“We just want to address the disappointing situation regarding Korbin that has unfolded over this past week. We’ve worked extremely hard to uphold the integrity of this national team through all of the generations, and we are extremely, extremely sad that this standard was not upheld,” Horan said. “Our fans and our supporters feel like this is a team that they can rally behind, and it’s so important that they feel and continue to feel undeniably heard and seen.”

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

Twila Kilgore said that Albert would be available to play against Japan on Saturday, and echoed her senior players’ point about the importance of demonstrating allyship and the need to have “hard conversations.” Nobody said if there was an effort to have Albert removed from the roster, though I find it encouraging how swiftly the USWNT’s best and most famous players all instantly called out their young teammate and how quickly she apologized for her nasty posts. Oddly, U.S. Soccer hasn’t said anything about the situation, despite the pressing need to clarify some of the potentially applicable parts of the Collective Bargaining Agreement that pertain to harassment and discrimination. Clearly Albert’s teammates and coaches take this seriously and feel comfortable handling it in house, which to me is team culture working, though U.S. Soccer shouldn’t just ignore this.

The one person who should ignore this, however, did not. Ma’am, go away!

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