Megan Rapinoe tells Karen Carney’s critics to ‘thicken up that skin’ after Leeds tweet mocking pundit for saying the club ‘got promoted because of Covid’ provoked barrage of online abuse
- Karen Carney said Covid helped Leeds as the club have a history of ‘blowing up’
- The club tweeted to remind Carney that Leeds had won the league by 10 points
- Marcelo Bielsa’s men picked up one point in the last four games of 2018-19
- Sheffield United were promoted instead and went up with one match to spare
- Megan Rapinoe joined Rio Ferdinand and Sam Matterface to condemn the tweet
Megan Rapinoe has jumped to the defence of pundit Karen Carney after the former England international was singled out by Leeds United for a piece of analysis after Marcelo Bielsa’s side had thrashed West Brom 5-0.
The win took Leeds up to 11th, but Carney raised concerns that the Whites might not be able to maintain the high-intensity style that Bielsa demands towards the end of the campaign.
Leeds were second and three points clear of Sheffield United with four games to play in 2018-19, but only collected one point in their final four matches to throw away the chance of automatic promotion as the Blades went up instead.
Megan Rapinoe has defended Karen Carney after Leeds singled out the pundit on Twitter
Carney, who won 144 caps for England, claimed Leeds were promoted ‘because of Covid’
Marcelo Bielsa’s men crumbled under the pressure in 2018-19 before going up last season
Bielsa’s Marseille side also finished 14 points adrift of Ligue 1 winners Paris Saint-Germain in 2014-15 having been just two points behind the French giants with eight games remaining.
‘They outrun everyone and credit to them,’ she said after the Baggies were thrashed. ‘My only concern would be, ”will they blow up at the end of the season?”
‘We saw that in the last couple of seasons and I actually think they got promoted because of Covid in terms of it gave them a bit of respite. I don’t know whether they would’ve got up if they didn’t have the break.’
Leeds were quick to respond with a three-line tweet. ‘Promoted because of Covid. Won the league by 10 points. Hi @primevideosport.’
Many Leeds fans pointed out that their side had gone into the three-month break with a seven-point lead over third-placed Fulham, but the decision to post the clip of Carney led to a significant backlash from those who felt she had been targeted unfairly.
The likes of Rio Ferdinand and ITV and talkSPORT commentator Sam Matterface objected to the post, while Leeds chairman Andrea Radrizzani vehemently defended his club’s actions.
Rapinoe is firmly on Carney’s side and tweeted to her 916,000 followers: ‘Shame. Shame. Shame. Thicken up that skin y’all. Also don’t come for @karenjcarney she’s a national treasure’.
Andrea Radrizzani apologised for the abuse Carney has received but stood by the club’s tweet
Leeds ended up finishing 12 points of Brentford after picking up 22 points from their final nine games.
Leeds are yet to remove the tweet, but have condemned the abuse Carney has received on Twitter as a result, with Radrizzani saying: ‘I’m very sorry Karen was abused on social media. I wanted to defend my club and our players from a comment which I felt was harsh from Karen on air. Our tweet wasn’t offensive – simply stating that we won the league by 10 points.
‘We honestly didn’t expect such a reaction and we are sorry she experienced that. I respect her as a person and a pundit and I hope she understands that we just want to defend our club. We are a family.
Rapinoe is vocal on social issues and knelt in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick before games
‘I hope the abuse stops and we can move forward and I hope Karen will be our guest at Elland Road soon – I’d like to meet personally with her.’
Rapinoe is never one to shy away from sharing her opinion and recently shared a rallying cry for women’s football to be given greater exposure after she was voted into the FIFA FIFPro Women’s World 11 for 2020 – a team voted for by fellow players – despite not having played a match since March, saying that while she was flattered by the honour, she was also a bit surprised.
Rapinoe has also famously knelt in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick as the national anthem played before a game to protest police brutality and racial injustice and she has been at the forefront of calls for the United States’ Women’s National Team to receive the same pay as their male counterparts.