What better way to celebrate winning the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final, than with a celebration in the streets of New York City?
That’s exactly what the U.S. women’s national soccer team did on Wednesday, after taking home America’s fourth World Cup championship thanks to a 2-0 victory over the Netherlands last Sunday.
The ticker tape parade was held in the city’s Canyon of Heroes, which has been the site of other parades for Olympics victories and championships.
The route stretched down Broadway from Battery to City Hall, where a ceremony was held for the players, including Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Rose Lavelle, who scored a goal in the 69th minute of the championship game.
Rapinoe rode on the main float in the parade, along with teammates, Allie Long, Ali Krieger and Julie Ertz. The women were joined by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
At the start of the ceremony, de Blasio praised the women, saying, “This team has done something never before seen in the history of this country, the greatest, most-winning soccer team in the history of this country … and what they accomplished was extraordinary.”
He continued, “There was a deafening roar celebrating that [World Cup] victory, a deafening roar for our champions,” before leading the crowd in a “U.S.A. Equal Pay” chant.
Stated de Blasio, “The equality of women must be guaranteed in this nation.”
Good Morning America host Robin Roberts then introduced all the players of the team, welcoming them to the stage.
“I feel like this team is in the midst of changing the world around us as we live and it’s just an incredible feeling, really,” Rapinoe said of the team ahead of the parade, according to the New York Daily News.
USWNT’s meteoric rise in the tournament this year did not come without controversy off the field, though. Rapinoe, 33, declined to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” with her teammates before each match to raise awareness about police misconduct and racial injustice in America. As her protests were going on, a video from a months-old interview with Eight By Eight magazine was released that showed the soccer star saying she has no intention of making the trip to the White House if USWNT won the cup.
“I’m not going to the f—ing White House,” Rapinoe said. “No, I’m not going to the White House. We’re not going to be invited. I doubt it.”
The video drew the ire of the president, who responded in a series of tweets, saying he would be inviting the team win or lose.
“I am a big fan of the American Team, and Women’s Soccer, but Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job!” Trump wrote.
Thanks to Rapinoe and the rest of USWNT, that job is now done.
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