There had been phrases of gratitude, the typical forgettable verbiage from public officialdom and a presentation of the keys to the metropolis. Then the individuals gathered at the City Hall rally for the United States ladies’s soccer group on Wednesday lastly acquired to listen to from the girl most of them had been ready for: Megan Rapinoe.
Rapinoe didn’t disappoint. In a memorable speech, she lauded her teammates, spoke of the politics of division and equal pay and let forth a profane tribute to New York City.
“This is my charge to everyone: We have to be better, we have to love more and hate less. Listen more and talk less. It is our responsibility to make this world a better place,” Rapinoe instructed the crowd.
The ceremony got here after the group rolled up Broadway, cheered by 1000’s and showered in confetti. The group, which defeated the Netherlands, 2-Zero, on Sunday in the World Cup last in Lyon, France, traversed the Canyon of Heroes, a stretch of Broadway from Battery Park to City Hall.
Rapinoe fed off the vitality of the crowd as she celebrated her group with the most poignant phrases of the day.
“This group is so resilient, is so tough, has such a sense of humor,” mentioned Rapinoe, the high scorer at the Women’s World Cup in France, the place the United States received its second straight title. “There’s nothing that may faze this group.
“We acquired pink hair and purple hair. We acquired tattoos and dreadlocks. We acquired white ladies and black ladies and every little thing in between. We acquired straight ladies and homosexual ladies.”
Bagpipers, motorcyclists and rows of cops joined the floats of soccer stars in the parade. Mayor Bill de Blasio waved an American flag surrounded by members of the group, who wore “world champion” shirts and their medals.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo was on a separate gamers’ float, and he, Crystal Dunn, Tobin Heath and different gamers had been seen chanting “equal pay.” The group’s gamers have objected that the American males’s group is paid extra, although its performances have been considerably weaker.
A poster on that float learn: “Parades are cool; equal pay is cooler.”
“I’ve got 22 of the best, bestest friends right behind me,” Carli Lloyd mentioned at the City Hall ceremony. Her speech adopted a prolonged drum efficiency, the nationwide anthem, the presentation of colours, introductions by Robin Roberts, and speeches by the mayor; his spouse, Chirlane McCray; and Carlos Cordeiro, the president of U.S. Soccer, who was serenaded by “equal pay” chants by many in the crowd.
In an interview on CNN on Tuesday night, Rapinoe said she and her teammates wanted to celebrate their title in part by talking to leaders in Congress and elsewhere about the issues they’ve been vocal about throughout their run. She said she was not interested, however, in going to the White House, because she didn’t want President Trump to piggyback on their platform.
“Your message is excluding people,” Rapinoe said when asked if she had a message for Trump. “You’re excluding me, you’re excluding people that look like me, you’re excluding Americans that maybe support you.”
Rapinoe said the “equal pay” chant from the crowd at the end of the final solidified the win as a transcendent moment. She said that beyond pay, the issue was about investing equally into the men’s and women’s games.
“Until we have equal investment and care and thought and brainpower put on both sides, then we don’t know what our potential is. I mean right now I would say that we’re doing pretty good basically creating this entire business without being compensated substantially.”
The Canyon of Heroes has been used to celebrate many people and events, including the Apollo 11 astronauts and the completion of the Brooklyn Bridge. This is the second time the women’s national team has received the honor; the 2015 squad was also feted, a first for a women’s team.
It has been a nonstop party for the team since their victory. Champagne flowed in the locker room, and celebrations have continued in the streets of France, on planes and buses, and now back in the United States. Several players were seen swigging from Champagne bottles during the parade.