MONTREAL - The U.S. Supreme Court's landmark ruling Friday that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide was heard loud and clear in Canada at the Women's World Cup.
After the decision came down, the U.S. Soccer Federation posted a graphic on its Twitter and Facebook pages with a bald eagle and the organization's trademark "One nation, one team" message in rainbow-colored type.
Two of the superstars on the women's team, forward Abby Wambach and midfielder Megan Rapinoe, are among the country's highest-profile out athletes. While it may have been a coincidence that their team took to the field on the same day as the court's decision, they knew it was a big moment for the millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender fans back home who view them as role models.
"Obviously it impacts my life personally, but everybody on our team was super-excited and happy about it," said Wambach, who is married to former pro soccer player Sarah Huffman. She added that if the team had scored a second goal in the 1-0 win over China, there was a celebration planned that would have paid tribute to the court.
Rapinoe called the decision "just amazing" and "maybe a little overwhelming."
The most eloquent remarks came from U.S. coach Jill Ellis, who was born in England and has been an American citizen for decades. She is out and married and has a daughter, but hasn't put her life in the same spotlight as the one that's on her players.
"I was very honored with what U.S. soccer put out - when I saw it, I was very moved," Ellis said. "Our players, they're great role models, and to have that now be something that all of us can embrace, no matter where we live in the country, I think it's a tremendous step for our country. And certainly, as someone who benefits from that, I'm extremely pleased for everybody in our nation's LGBT community."