NYPD probes vandalized Rapinoe posters as likely hate crime

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.

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USWNT players, fans celebrate World Cup win
Megan Rapinoe holds the Women's World Cup trophy as the U.S. women's soccer team is celebrated with a parade along the Canyon of Heroes, Wednesday, July 10, 2019, in New York. The U.S. national team beat the Netherlands 2-0 to capture a record fourth Women's World Cup title. Wednesday, July 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Construction workers watch as members of the U.S. women's soccer team is celebrated with a ticker tape parade along the Canyon of Heroes, Wednesday, July 10, 2019, in New York. The U.S. national team beat the Netherlands 2-0 to capture a record fourth Women's World Cup title.(AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
U.S. women's soccer team player Megan Rapinoe pours champagne for an unidentified teammate as Alex Morgan, rear left, watches during a ticker tape parade along the Canyon of Heroes, Wednesday, July 10, 2019, in New York. The U.S. national team beat the Netherlands 2-0 to capture a record fourth Women's World Cup title.(AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
A fan on a float poses during a ticker tape parade along the Canyon of Heroes honoring the U.S. national women's soccer team, Wednesday, July 10, 2019, in New York. The U.S. national team beat the Netherlands 2-0 to capture a record fourth Women's World Cup title. (AP Photo/Steve Luciano)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 10: A Fan looks on during the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team Victory Parade and City Hall Ceremony on July 10, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 10: (L-R) United States Soccer Federation president Carlos Cordeiro, Megan Rapinoe, Allie Long and Alex Morgan celebrate while riding on a float during The U.S. Women's National Soccer Team Victory Parade and City Hall Ceremony down the Canyon of Heroes on July 10, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 10: Megan Rapinoe signs a vest that United States Soccer Federation president Carlos Cordeiro holds while riding on a float during The U.S. Women's National Soccer Team Victory Parade and City Hall Ceremony down the Canyon of Heroes on July 10, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 10: Megan Rapinoe celebrates during the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team Victory Parade and City Hall Ceremony on July 10, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
The U.S. women's soccer team member Jessica McDonald flexes during a celebration at City Hall after a ticker tape parade, Wednesday, July 10, 2019, in New York. The U.S. national team beat the Netherlands 2-0 to capture a record fourth Women's World Cup title. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
The U.S. women's soccer team captains' Alex Morgan, left, and Megan Rapinoe celebrate at City Hall after a ticker tape parade, Wednesday, July 10, 2019 in New York. The U.S. national team beat the Netherlands 2-0 to capture a record fourth Women's World Cup title. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Fans celebrates as members of the the U.S. women's soccer team approach during a ticker tape parade along the Canyon of Heroes, Wednesday, July 10, 2019, in New York. The U.S. national team beat the Netherlands 2-0 to capture a record fourth Women's World Cup title.(AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
The U.S. women's soccer team member Megan Rapinoe holds the championship trophy at City Hall after a ticker tape parade, Wednesday, July 10, 2019 in New York. The U.S. national team beat the Netherlands 2-0 to capture a record fourth Women's World Cup title. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
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“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.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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