Megan Rapinoe, Julie Ertz, and the rest of Team USA basked in the glory of their World Cup victory over the Netherlands on the streets of New York City Wednesday in a ticker-tape parade celebrating the team’s fourth championship.
Rapinoe, the team’s outspoken co-captain who has tangled publicly with President Donald Trump, stole the show with a rousing speech that ended emphatically with some colorful language. Co-captain Carli Lloyd, a Delran native, stood in the center of New York City and gave a shoutout to the Eagles, while Julie Ertz was surprised by her husband Zach on live television. And defender Kelley O’Hara was successful in her quest for free beers.
Here are some highlights from today’s World Cup parade:
Was anyone expecting anything less?
Rapinoe concluded the festivities by setting the crowd ablaze with a passionate speech that touched everything with the team’s battle with the U.S. Soccer Federation over equal pay to the the need for everyone to be bigger and better versions of themselves.
“This is my charge to everyone: We have to be better. We have to love more. Hate less. We got to listen more and talk less,” Rapinoe said. “It’s our responsibility to make the world a better place.”
Here’s a collection of images from the parade, as captured by Inquirer staff photographer Heather Khalifa.
Although Delran native Carli Lloyd said she was “a Jersey girl through and through,” she gave Philly and the Eagles a shoutout in her speech.
“Fly, Eagles Fly,” she said. “Here’s to the next chapter, maybe we will see you in another four years.”
United States Soccer Federation Carlos Cordeiro’s speech celebrating the team’s victory was interrupted with chants of “equal pay” from the crowd as he spoke about the commitment to women’s soccer.
“Today, on behalf of all of all us at U.S. Soccer, we hear you, we believe in you, and we’re committed to doing right by you,” Cordeiro said. “We will continue to invest in women’s soccer more than any other country in the world. And we will encourage others, including our friends at FIFA, to do the same.”
On March 8, 28 members of the U.S. women’s team filed a class action suit against the U. S. Soccer Federation alleging it pays female players less than their male counterparts, in violation of the U.S. Equal Pay Act and the Civil Rights Act.
Despite the awkward speech (and the fact he mispronounced her name), Rapinoe threw her support behind Cordeiro during her own speech from the steps of City Hall.
“I think he’s on the right side of things. I think he’s going to make things right,” Rapinoe said, adding, “We look forward to holding those feet to the fire.”
As Fox Sports aired chants of “equal pay” coming from fans celebrating the U.S. women’s soccer team, over on Fox News, host and media critic Howard Kurtz said Rapinoe was “spoiling” Team USA’s World Cup victory due to her discussion about politics and equal pay.
“She is very liberal, and she can’t stand this president, and she is using the platform — I’m sorry to say this — to in some ways mar or spoil or tar what could have been this great unifying moment for America," Kurtz said.
During the parade, Rapinoe celebrated with a bottle of La Grande Dame, and as Independent Journal Review’s Josh Billinson points out, there’s a reason behind her choice.
As several viewers have pointed out, it appears CBS failed to update Team USA’s logo following Sunday’s victory. The women’s soccer team now has four stars, which represent their four World Cup victories.
ABC and ESPN updated the logo prior to their live coverage.
Kelley O’Hara, one of the team’s starting defenders, had a specific request for fans at the start of the parade:
It also looks like there are more beers waiting for O’Hara at City Hall.
The tradition of ticker-tape parades began back in the late 19th century, when “office boys” would toss spools of ticker-tape ribbon used to print out Wall Street updates from the windows.
Today, fans atop the buildings lining the parade route are throwing a mixture of shredded paperwork and old pieces of paper. It’s even possible blank checks from defunct companies could be among the paper raining down onto the street.
As the World Cup parade makes its way up Broadway towards City Hall, here’s a look at at the celebration.
Former President Barack Obama, whose message following Team USA’s World Cup win was Twitter’s third-most-re-tweeted message about the match, congratulated the team Wednesday ahead of the parade.
Obama hosted Team USA at the White House following their 2015 women’s World Cup win, but it remains unclear if President Donald Trump will invite this year’s winning squad to Washington after a contentious back-and-forth with Rapinoe.
Trump has yet to mention the parade this morning, but he did congratulate the team following their win Sunday.
Ahead of today’s parade, Julie Ertz made a stop at the NFL Network to speak with the hosts of Good Morning Football when out of the blue, her husband Zach (who plays for the Eagles) called into the show.
“How did you get him up at 7:24 a.m? I can’t even do that,” Ertz joked.
Rapinoe, the team’s outspoken co-captain, appeared on CNN Tuesday night, and was asked by Anderson Cooper what message she would like to convey to President Trump.
Here’s Rapinoe’s response:
Rapinoe also made an appearance on The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC where she explained how fans can support the team’s fight for equal pay:
While you wait for the parade to begin, here are some stories worth reading about Team USA and their historic World Cup win, and bookmark Inquirer.com/soccer to keep up with all our coverage.