The BBC has received intense backlash after they asked a question within a now-deleted tweet about American soccer star Megan Rapinoe that people deemed as homophobic.
The question centered around an article about Megan, 34, titled “Why is America’s newest hero so polarising?” It was issued by the @BBCWorld Twitter account who also asked, “Megan Rapinoe: Can a pink-haired lesbian be an American hero?” above the link.
This did not sit well with social media users who clapped back at BBC for issuing such a question. “What a bizarre and disappointing headline,” one wrote. “And it’s quite apparent she already is one. We stan Rapinoe.”
And one other point, why in 2019, would Rapinoe’s sexual orientation (or hair colour) preclude her from being a hero? Look more at what she SAYS and DOES!#MeganRapinoe
— Karan Scott (@K_ScottCoaching) July 14, 2019
@BBCWorld, @mPinoe already IS an American hero – where have you been this past month?!” another user wrote. “And one other point, why in 2019, would Rapinoe’s sexual orientation (or hair colour) preclude her from being a hero? Look more at what she SAYS and DOES!”
Someone actually typed this out and hit tweet! In 2019! https://t.co/qu4L3ja8Zo
— Chris Godfrey (@ChrisPJGodfrey) July 14, 2019
The Guardian journalist Chris Godfrey also slammed the BBC, writing “Someone actually typed this out and hit tweet! In 2019!”
The BBC article, written by Marianna Brady, details Megan’s meteoric rise to superstardom ever since she and The United States women’s national soccer team won the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The Redding, California native also scored awards for The Golden Ball (best overall player) and Golden Boot (top scorer).
Marianna writes about how Megan’s confident persona has been off-putting to some, namely conservatives, and if her being “strong, gay and female” is the reason why she’s triggering many of them.
“They look up to her and see not a disciplined, respectful sports icon, but a groundlessly bitter, petulant celebrity who is totally ungrateful for the opportunities she’s had,” wrote conservative Brad Polumbo.
She also brings up the double standard where men can act similarly to Megan and get no backlash as a result.
“Male athletes can be brash and pound their chests without being criticised,” says University of California Berkeley history professor Bonnie Morris, “but because Rapinoe is a pink-haired lesbian willing to take on President (Donald) Trump, she is startling people who haven’t encountered anyone like her before.”