Lindsey Horan apologizes to U.S. soccer fans after calling them ‘not smart’

A Lindsey Horan apology was given to American soccer fans on Thursday during a press conference with the United States women’s national team.

Horan ruffled a litany of feathers for her February interview with The Athletic when she remarked on the low intelligence levels of USWNT fans.

"American soccer fans, most of them aren't smart,” Horan said to The Athletic. “They don't know the game. They don't understand. It's getting better and better.

"I'm gonna piss off some people, but the game is growing in the U.S. People are more and more knowledgeable, but so much of the time people take what the commentators say, right?”

Horan isn’t entirely wrong as the average fan doesn’t know the intricacies and tactics of the national team. Still, Horan was met with a tidal wave of backlash for her comments.

The story we posted about the subject on The18 received nearly 9,000 comments with people commenting things like, “well that’s one way to win over fans” and “Poor choice of words when you are trying to gain popularity.”

Horan has now apologized.

Lindsey Horan apology to American fans

"First and foremost, I would like to apologize to our fans," Horan said. "Some of my comments were poorly expressed and there was a massive lesson learned for me. When I think about our fans, I love them so much, this team loves them so much, and I can't begin to explain how much they mean to us.

“Every time we step out and train, every time we step out and play in games, we play for you guys and you are our inspiration, you are our motivation and seeing you wearing our jerseys and seeing you screaming our names and chanting 'U-S-A,' that's what we play for.

"And I never wanted to take any of that away. And continuing on that, the soccer culture in America is changing and growing so much in such a positive way.”

Horan also explained where her frustrations came from during the initial interview with The Athletic. The 29-year-old midfielder, who plays for Lyon in France, is one of the few USWNT players who plays for a club in Europe. She had previously said that French fans understand the game better than Americans.

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During the press conference Horan said that she wishes American fans would talk about the USWNT the same way soccer fans around the world talk about the best clubs.

“When I think of some of the best footballing teams in the world, and some that I watch and the way I talk about Man City, the way people talk about Man City, Arsenal, the old Barcelona, that's what I love," Horan said.

"That's what I want people to say about us. I want people to talk about, you know, how incredible we are on the ball, the possession, the style of play, the technical ability, the tactical changes mid-game, these type of things that I've viewed when I do see some of the best teams in the world."

As the game continues to grow in the country perhaps that dream will become a reality in the coming years. Of course, there will always be the base-level fans who don’t understand the rules or tactics, but that comes with any sport not just soccer.

Horan’s apology has received mixed responses online. Some fans agreed with her initial comments and feel she didn’t need to apologize. Other people are saying she no longer deserves to be captain of the USWNT.

Perhaps Horan will be able to win fans over with solid performances in the upcoming Concacaf Women’s Gold Cup. The USWNT will face off against Argentina, Mexico and the winner of Guyana/Dominican Republic in the group stage.

The USWNT’s first game is against the winner of Guyana/Dominican Republic on Tuesday at 10:15 p.m. ET.

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