USWNT captain Lindsey Horan and Alex Morgan issue statement after Korbin Albert apologizes for anti-LGBTQ content

U.S. women's national team captain Lindsey Horan and veteran Alex Morgan issued a prepared statement to reporters Wednesday, a week after young midfielder Korbin Albert apologized for liking and sharing anti-LGBTQ posts on social media.

Horan's opening, in which she said Albert's actions did not upheld the USWNT's standard of integrity:

"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. 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."

Morgan followed, alluding to "hard conversations" behind the scenes:

"We stand by maintaining a safe and respectful space, especially as allies and members of the LGBTQ+ community. This platform has given us an opportunity to highlight causes that matter to us, something that we never take for granted. We'll keep using this platform to give attention to causes.

"It's also important to note we've had internal discussions around the situation and that will stay within the team, but one thing also to note is that we have never shied away from hard conversations within this team."

The two appeared ahead of a scheduled virtual media availability for Mallory Swanson and Catarina Macario and did not take questions.

Albert, who is 20 years old, drew a wave of attention last week after fans noticed she had reposted an arrayof anti-LGBTQ content on her TikTok account, as well as liked a post joking that God had caused Megan Rapinoe to hurt her ankle in her farewell game last year.

It wasn't long before Rapinoe issued a scathing statement that didn't mention Albert by name, but questioned if she was creating an inclusive space. That statement quickly received an endorsement from Becky Sauerbrunn, another USWNT captain. The quartet of Horan, Morgan, Rapinoe and Sauerbrunn represent some of the loudest voices of the USWNT's team leadership over the past half-decade.

Albert issued an apology hours after Rapinoe's post, acknowledging her activity was "immature and disrespectful":

"I want to sincerely apologize for my actions on social media. Liking and sharing posts that are offensive, insensitive and hurtful was immature and disrespectful which was never my intent.

"I'm really disappointed in myself and am deeply sorry for the hurt that I have caused to my teammates, other players, fans, friends and anyone who was offended.

"I truly believe that everyone should feel safe and respected everywhere and on all playing fields. I know my actions have not lived up to that and for that l sincerely apologize. It's an honor and a privilege to get to play this sport on the world stage and I promise to do better."

The incident came only a few weeks after a star-making performance by Albert at the Gold Cup, and a few months before the USWNT will compete at the 2024 Olympics in Paris. Albert, who plays for Paris Saint Germain, is positioned to be a significant part of the USWNT's future, but has clearly had to answer some hard questions over the past week.

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