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Megan Rapinoe speaks to America at World Cup celebration: ‘We have to love more, hate less’

Megan Rapinoe speaks to America at World Cup celebration: ‘We have to love more, hate less’

Megan Rapinoe and the USWNT celebrating their World Cup win

New York City honored the US Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) with a ticker-tape parade in the Canyon of Heroes on Wednesday (10 July). The celebration catapulted the team to the same heights as astronauts, world leaders, and a pope, all people who have previousl received this same parade.

Fans poured out in an sea of red, white, and blue, chanting and cheering for the greatest women’s soccer team in the world.

After beating the Netherlands 2-0 on Sunday (7 July), the USWNT won their fourth FIFA Women’s World Cup title, the most any women’s team has ever won.

In the Big Apple, co-captain Megan Rapinoe delivered a speech with her teammates behind her.

‘Shoutout to my teammates,’ Rapinoe began as the audience cheered. ‘This group is so resilient, is so tough, has such a sense of humor. Is so badass. There’s nothing that can phase this group. We’re chillin’, we got tea sippin’, we got celebrations.’

She then turned her speech to highlighting the diversity of the women who make up the USWNT.

‘We have pink hair and purple hair, we have tattoos and dreadlocks, we got white girls and black girls, and everything in between. Straight girls and gay girls.’

The audience erupted into roars at the last bit and Rapinoe, who is openly gay, called out delightedly: ‘Hey!’

‘I couldn’t be more proud to be a co-captain with Carli [Lloyd] and Alex [Morgan] with this team. It’s my absolute honor to lead this team out on the field. There’s no other place that I would rather be, even in the presidential race,’ she continued, referencing people’s many please for her to run for office.

Later in her speech, she addressed the fans: ‘We have to be better. We have to love more, hate less. We’ve got to listen more and talk less. We’ve got to know that this is everybody’s responsibility… it’s our responsibility to make the world a better place.’

Megan Rapinoe made waves, on and off the pitch

Over the past month, Rapinoe has made numerous headlines, both for her performance in the World Cup and her outspoken disposition.

She walked away from the World Cup not only with the championship, but individually she won the Golden Ball (best overall player in the finals) and Boot (top goalscorer).

Throughout the tournament, Rapinoe also didn’t shy away from politics or using her platform to speak out.

She refused to sing the National Anthem and she stated unequivocally she wouldn’t be going to the ‘fucking White House’.

These actions earned her both ardent fans and critics, and she hasn’t stopped voicing her views since the World Cup ended. Upon returning to the US, Rapinoe made appearances on numerous shows.

On Tuesday (9 July), she sat down with Anderson Cooper for an interview. During the segment, Rapinoe addressed Donald Trump directly (around the 2:40 mark): ‘Your message is excluding people. You’re excluding me and people that look like me. You’re excluding people of color.

‘We need to have a reckoning with the message you have and what you’re saying about “Make America Great Again.” You’re harking back to an era that was not great for everyone.’

Equal pay for the USWNT

Another theme of the parade and celebrations was equal pay.

For the Women’s World Cup this year, FIFA is reportedly paying the winners — the USWNT — a $4 million bonus. This is only a fraction of the $38 million bonus paid to the winning team of the Men’s World Cup last year.

The USWNT have filed a lawsuit in the matter of equal pay.

Fans began chanting ‘Equal pay!’ in New York City on Wednesday when US Soccer Federation president Carlos Cordeiro spoke.

‘We hear you. We believe in you, and we’re committed to doing right by you,’ Cordeiro said. ‘US Soccer has invested more in women’s soccer than any country in the world, and we will continue to invest more in women’s soccer than any country in the world and we will continue to encourage others, including those at FIFA, to do the same.’

Rapinoe defended him from boos, adding: ‘I think he’s with us, I think he’s on the right side of things, I think he’s gonna make things right.’

See also

Trump fans tried to claim soccer’s Kelley O’Hara, then she kissed girlfriend

US soccer player Ali Krieger: ‘I refuse to respect’ Donald Trump

Meet the 41 out gay and bi soccer stars in the Women’s World Cup 2019