Megan Rapinoe touches on equal pay fight, calls for everyone to be better in USWNT parade speech
Soccer star addresses the crowd in New York City following USWNT Championship Parade
The United States Women's National Soccer team has been vocal about equal rights and equal pay throughout their historic championship run, and star Megan Rapinoe uses her parade speech to touch on their fight and what fans can do to help.
Rapinoe called out to fans, and non-fans, to be better people to those around you everyday.
"This is my charge to everyone, we have to be better. We have to love more, hate less. We gotta listen more, talk less. We gotta know that this is everybody's responsibility. Every single person here. Every single person who's not here. Every single person who doesn't wanna be here. Every single person who agrees and doesn't agree. It's our responsibility to make this world a better place. I think this team does an incredible job of taking that on our shoulders and understanding the position that we have and the platform that we have within this world. Yes we play sports, yes we play soccer, yes we are female athletes, but we are so much more than that, you are so much more than that. You're more than a fan, you're more than someone who just supports sports, you're more than someone who tunes in every four years. You're someone who walks those streets every single day. You interact with your community every single day. How do you make your community better, how do you make the people around you better? Your family, your closest friends, the ten closest people to you, the 20 closest people to you, the most - the hundred closest people to you. It's every single person's responsibility."
Rapinoe also discussed the ongoing fight for equal pay, and even joked around about it, concluding with how the world can use her team as an example for change.
"There's been so much contention in these last years. I've been a victim of that, I've been a perpetrator of that. With our fight with the federation, I'm sorry for some of the things I said. Not all of the things. But it's time to come together. This conversation is at the next step.We have to collaborate it takes everybody. This is my charge to everybody: do what you can. Do what you have to do, step outside yourself, be more, be better, be bigger than you've ever been before. If this team is any representation of what you can be when you do that please take this as an example. This group is incredible. We took so much on our shoulders to be here today, to celebrate with you today, and we did it with a smile. So do the same for us. Please, I ask you."
Before the 34-year-old took the stage for her speech, U.S. Soccer President Carlos Cordeiro was booed. But while speaking, Rapinoe defended him, alluding to the equal pay fight and saying "I think he's with us. I think he's on the right side of things"
She then thanked New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, his wife, the police and firefighters and everyone who made it possible to "shut down the biggest, best city in the world, for the biggest, best team in the world."
Since winning it all, the USWNT has been celebrating like the champions they are, with videos of them dancing in the locker room, drinking champagne on the plane and starting chants at the New York City parade all going viral. Rapinoe discussed the mood and diversity of the team in her speech.
"There's nothing, nothing that can phase this group. We're chillin, we got tea-sippin, we got celebrations. We have pink hair and purple hair. We have tattoos, dreadlocks," she said. "We got white girls and black girls and everything in between. Straight girls, gay girls. I couldn't be more proud to be a co-captain with Carli and Alex with this team."
While many social media posts have jokingly suggested that Rapinoe should be a presidential nominee, she insisted that she has too much on her plate to run for office.
"It's my absolute honor to lead this team out on the field," Rapinoe said. "There's no other place that I would rather be, even in the presidential race. I'm busy I'm sorry."
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