A young boy approached U.S. women’s soccer captain Megan Rapinoe at the ESPY Awards Wednesday night, and her response went viral for all the wrong reasons.
Sitting in the front row of the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, Rapinoe was seen accepting a souvenir ball from the boy. After calling out to a passing teammate, she scribbled on the ball in black marker and then handed it back to the eagerly waiting boy, who then turned to leave. At no point in the 7-second clip did Rapinoe look at the boy or acknowledge him in any way.
ABC, which hosts the sports awards shows, tweeted out the video Wednesday night, apparently seeing it as an adorable moment.
“Can we get a signed ball, too … ? “, the network asked.
However, Twitter’s reaction was overwhelmingly negative, with conservative commentators leading the condemnation.
British TV host Piers Morgan shared the clip and said: “Wow. Doesn’t even look at him.. such an arrogant piece of work.”
Wow. Doesn’t even look at him.. such an arrogant piece of work. https://t.co/BEJjGqIIhj
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) July 13, 2019
David Dunn, a former professional English soccer player who like Rapinoe played midfield, tweeted: “The more I see her the more I dislike her ! The kid should have volleyed it back in her grid !”
The more I see her the more I dislike her ! The kid should have volleyed it back in her grid !
— David Dunn (@David8Dunn) July 13, 2019
Social media strategist Caleb Hull agreed, saying: “She didn’t even take a half second to look at her fan. I cannot stand her.”
She didn’t even take a half second to look at her fan. I cannot stand her. pic.twitter.com/GDSd5dErdn
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) July 13, 2019
Young activist CJ Pearson called Rapinoe’s behavior “Classless but so unsurprising.”
Classless but so unsurprising. pic.twitter.com/lRR3EjVGaP
— CJ Pearson (@thecjpearson) July 14, 2019
Rapinoe later took the stage with her U.S. Women’s National Soccer teammates to accept an ESPY for best team. As she got up from her seat and kissed her partner, WNBA player Sue Bird, her left breast briefly fell out of her low-cut tuxedo jacket. That, too, spurred Twitter backlash.
During the U.S. women’s march to World Cup victory, which they completed last Sunday with a 2-0 defeat of the Netherlands, Rapinoe was the biggest star on and off the field. Liberals have celebrated the purple-haired firebrand’s refusal to stand for the National Anthem during games, her criticism of President Donald Trump and her advocacy of “equal pay” for her team. Some have even suggested she run for president.
Meanwhile, many conservatives have quickly tired of Rapinoe’s relentless self-promotion in the name of feminist and LGBT empowerment.
At the team’s victory parade in New York last week, she declared of the World Cup trophy, “I deserve this!” Asked what else she deserved, Rapinoe responded, “Everything. Everything,”
WATCH: Megan Rapinoe Screams ‘I Deserve Everything!’: