Social media trolls targeted former Canadian international Kaylyn Kyle with death threats after she criticized the excessive celebrations by the United States during Tuesday's record-breaking win over Thailand in the Women's World Cup.
Kyle, who represented Canada at the 2015 Women's World Cup and currently works as a television analyst, described the U.S. goal celebrations as "disrespectful" during a lopsided 13-0 win - the largest margin of victory in tournament history.
Her critique triggered online death threats, which Kyle addressed in a social media post on Tuesday night.
"To the people sending me death threats, let me set the record straight," she wrote on Twitter. "I never once said to never score as many goals as you can in a World Cup! Please watch the full segment! I said the exact opposite. It's the World Cup. You score as many as you can and don't take the foot off the gas pedal!
"I did say I thought it was excessive and disrespectful the goal celebrations of the American team once the score hit 8-0. Everyone is allowed their opinions towards my thoughts 100 percent but please leave the death threats!"
U.S. captain Megan Rapinoe garnered plenty of criticism for her extravagant celebration after scoring the ninth goal of the match; she ran towards her team's bench with her arms out like an airplane, spun around, and went to the ground while kicking her feet together in the air.
Rapinoe defended her side's goal celebrations, insisting that the lopsided result will help the women's game evolve.
"We have the utmost respect for everyone we play but it's the World Cup and that's part of it. It's part of growing the game. (Thailand will) improve from here," she said.
USWNT legend Abby Wambach urged the team to continue to celebrate goals on women's soccer's biggest stage.
Former U.S. men's international Taylor Twellman, meanwhile, voiced his displeasure with the celebrations.
The defending champions resume their World Cup campaign Sunday against Chile before wrapping up the group stage against Sweden on June 20.