Posters of the U.S. women's soccer star Megan Rapinoe were vandalized with homophobic slurs at the New York City subway station Monday.
According to the New York Post, the vandal wrote on Rapinoe's face and forehead with a marker on eight posters displayed in the Bryant Park subway station. The degrading remarks on the posters have since been removed. Police worked with New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) officials to clean and replace the posters.
According to USA Today, the NYPD already has a suspect. Detective Hubert Reyes said the incident was reported around 7:15 a.m. and the department's hate crimes task force has opened up an investigation.
The U.S. Women's National Soccer Team (USNWT) captain is openly gay and an LGBTQ advocate.
The posters, some on the station's walls and some on pillars showed Rapinoe in her soccer uniform inviting passersby to "dream with us."
According to police, the posters were covered in various "derogatory" and "anti-sexual orientation" statements, but officials did not provide specific examples of the words used.
"Hate has no place in the transit system and we work hard to make the subway a welcoming, safe environment for everyone," MTA spokesperson Shams Tarek said in a statement.Rapinoe, who played a big role in leading the USWNT to a World Cup title, has been a vocal on and off the field. On Tuesday night in a CNN appearance, she challenged President Donald Trump for spreading a message that excludes Americans like her, including some of his supporters.
"You need to do better for everyone," she said.
Rapinoe and her teammates were in New York City for a ticker tape parade Wednesday to celebrate their win.
"There's been so much contention in these last years. I've been a victim of that, I've been a perpetrator of that. With our fight with the federation, sorry for some of the things said. Not all of the things. But it's time to come together," the captain said to the crowd.
The American team was heavily criticized for their sportsmanship during the World Cup in France leading to fears for their safety as reported by The Inquisitr. However, there have never been any such incidents at a Women's World Cup event during its existence.
Some complained that the Americans ran up the score, 13-0, on Thailand in the opener, while others picked on their over-the-top goal celebrations.
Rapinoe was awarded the Golden Ball and the Golden Boot for being the World Cup's best player and top scorer.