July 11 (UPI) -- The New York City Police Department said it is investigating a possible hate crime toward United States Women's National Team star Megan Rapinoe.
Police said Wednesday that eight posters featuring Rapinoe were defaced with homophobic comments. The vandalism was discovered Monday inside the Bryant Park subway station in midtown Manhattan.
The NYPD's hate crimes task force has opened an investigation into one suspect. The posters, which showed Rapinoe in her U.S. uniform, have since been cleaned or replaced.
"Hate has no place in the transit system and we work hard to make the subway a welcoming, safe environment for everyone," Metropolitan Transportation Authority communications director Shams Tarek said. "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."
Rapinoe, who is openly gay, has been a vocal leader and advocate for LGBTQ rights.
The U.S. women's squad was honored with a ticker tape parade Wednesday in New York City after defeating the Netherlands to win the Women's World Cup. Rapinoe was awarded the Golden Ball and the Golden Boot for being the tournament's best player and top goal scorer.