US women's national team (USWNT) star Megan Rapinoe is being accused of anti-Asian racism after an old post in which she appears to mock Asian people went viral on social media.
The post in question was shared by Rapinoe on May 19, 2011 on Twitter. In the tweet, the soccer player tagged the user "tasha_kai00" before writing, "u look asian with those closed eyes!"
The "tasha_kai00" handle has since been deleted but archives reveal the account belonged to professional soccer player Natasha Kai. Kai, who is also a member of the United States women's national soccer team, is of Hawaiian, Chinese, Filipino and Caucasian heritage. Here's the tweet:
Rapinoe Appointed as 'Trailblazer' To Replace Victoria's Secret's 'Angels'
The tweet resurfaced on the micro-blogging platform a day after Victoria's Secret announced Rapinoe as one of the lingerie brand's "trailblazers" to replace its famous "Angel" models in an attempt to "shape the future" of the brand.
In the Angels' place will be the "VS Collective," a group of seven women that includes Rapinoe, actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas, South Sudanese refugee and model Adut Akech, Chinese freestyle skier Eileen Gu, photographer and #Girlgaze founder Amanda de Cadenet, model and inclusivity advocate Paloma Elsesser and Brazilian trans model Valentina Sampaio.
With her new partnership, Rapinoe will add Victoria's Secret to a list of endorsements that includes Nike, Subway, Clif Bar, Schmidt's deodorant and life insurance firm Symetra.
Social Media Reactions
Rapinoe's resurfaced tweet has now gone viral with users calling the World Cup winner "racist" and urging Victoria's Secret to end their association with the athlete.
"Megan Rapinoe should be cancelled for this racist and hurtful attack on individuals of Asian descent. I speak for all Asian Americans when I say shame on you, Megan," wrote one user.
"Does @VictoriasSecret stand for anti-asian hate???," commented another. "They need to fire her immediately!" Meanwhile, other users shared accused Rapinoe of being a "hypocrite" after being so vocal about racism on the field.
In 2019, the winger said in an interview that players who are not incensed by racism are "part of the problem" and imposing fines to deal with racism was a "joke." "If there's ever an instance of racism, if every single player on the field is not outraged then to me they're part of the problem," Rapinoe told the BBC.