New York police have opened a possible hate crime investigation after eight posters depicting out-lesbian soccer star Megan Rapinoe were defaced with homophobic graffiti.
Commuters reported the graffiti to police after discovering it in Manhattan’s Bryant Park subway station. Nike posters showing Rapinoe on the field had been defaced with phrases like “shemale” and “screw this ho.”
The Metropolitan Transit Authority responded immediately and notified police.”Hate has no place in the transit system and we work hard to make the subway a welcoming, safe environment for everyone,” said MTA communications director Shams Tarek in a statement. “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.”
The posters have since been cleaned of the vandalism.
Rapinoe rose to megastardom after leading her team to victory in the Women’s World Cup. She also gained a new level of celebrity after repeatedly criticizing Donald Trump and his administration’s anti-queer policies.